Monday, 28 March 2022

Modern Nepal's ancient childbirth practice still exist: Manifestations of violence against women during childbirth

Yesterday (27 March 2022) early in the morning at 7:47 am my near and dear obstetrician and gynaecologist (OBGYN) friend who also happened to be a licensed advocate shared me this picture in my messenger. Seeing the picture I could not write anything to her for a while and then after awhile I replied her saying, Brave lady! In an animal world that's normal and natural physiological process but in the human society world people had fantasized childbirth." I could not stopped myself and trying to find out the authenticity of the picture that has been shared via Swasthyapati facebook page stating, "A woman giving birth on the way to Bajura district. Lack of healthcare, illiteracy, lack of road transport and inaction of the responsible bodies, such incidents are still repeated in Nepal today. Photo: Prakash Singh- Bajura"
I wrote to the Swasthyapati in the messenger requesting to provide the contact of Mr. Prakash Singh who took the picture. But I could not stopped myself waiting to get the answer so I searched in the facebook to Mr. Prakash Singh then I came across his facebook page. Quickly first of all I went through is profile and came to realized that he is a journalist working for different media houses, for example, Editor-in-Chief at Badimalika Khabar, Reporter Nepal Television, Himal Khabar, and Himalyan Times. I dropped the message introducing myself and requesting his contact number. In between my OBGYN friend replied to my comment questing, "Fantasized!?" I replied her saying, "Yes no doubt about it because of the over commeralization of childbirth." and I personally thanked her for sharing the picture then called her. Then we decided to meet at 11:00 AM. Once we met at at her workplace we discussed about the case secanario and explored about what we can do to stop similar incident to take place in the near future. Besides, I wrote an email to the concerned authorty of the government of Nepal and stakeholders with the same subject of this post, "Modern Nepal's ancient childbirth practice still exist: Manifestations of violence against women during childbirth." Dear respected duty-bearers and human rights advocates, Namaste! In modern Nepal ancient childbirth practices still exist but our policy makers and planners don't care about it since they love to preserve and protect ancient practices that prove from their action and/or inaction. This is manifestations of violence against women during childbirth. Below picture from Karnali provice's Bajura district of a woman giving birth on the way depicted that because of lack of access to maternity care, illiteracy, low women status, lack of road transport and inaction of the duty bearers, inhuman practices and incidents are still exist in the modern Nepal despite we have good number of development agencies working for safe motherhood, road construction and education sectors but women in a rural and remote Nepal lives have not changed that much in the last 20-30 years sadly to say.
According to the National Policy on Skilled Birth Attendant's Long Term Strategy Since 2010 we have been tirelessly advocating for the development and deployment of midwifery workforce especially for rural and remote Nepal in order to prevent this kind of incidents from happening in modern Nepal. But we have been facing problems from policy makers and planners even implementing the government of Nepal policy to put into practice so that our rural and remote poor women don't have to give birth like ancient time Nepalese women or animals in a very inhuman manner. Isn't this violation of human rights of women during childbirth? Violation of human rights in childbirth has to be stopped as early as possible by the government of Nepal as a duty brear. Right holders, childbearing women's rights have been violated by the government of Nepal even in this 21st century modern Nepal despite it has been stated in the Constitution of Nepal to be ensured then how can we expect healthy mothers and healthy babies for the nation building process by improving maternal and newborn health in this country? I strongly urge the government of Nepal and concerned stakeholders to support the government of Nepal to put into practice what has been ensured in the Right to Safe Motherhood and Reproductive Health Act 2018 so that our childbearing women and their newborn can be survived, thrived and transformed according the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016–2030). We know that the SDG goal relating to safe motherhood won't be attained by 2030 but at least we can strive for it in the next 8 years.
Thank you and look forward to taking action proactively so that next time we don't have to read or hear any incident like this. At 12 noon Mr. Prakash Singh has shared his contact number then I called him and decided to me him today at 11 AM since he leaving today for his work station in Karnali province. As a responsible person and right holder it is my right to educate both duty bearers to fulfil their duty and to the right holders to educate and empower them to exercise their rights so that no women have to left behind like this rural and remote Bajura district childbearing women had to even in this 21st century. I felt that she has been treated like an animal by her family, society and state that's why she has to give birth in such a condition which we hardly can imagine and think in this 21st centruy era.

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