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Gurez’s healthcare crisis worsens

Expecting mothers, critically ill stuck in snowbound valley
12:07 AM Mar 18, 2024 IST | OWAIS FAROOQI
gurez’s healthcare crisis worsens
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Bandipora, Mar 17:  The absence of doctors with specialities, ultrasound (USG) machines and other critical life-saving equipment has become a life-and-death issue for expecting mothers and critically ill in Gurez Valley of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district.

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At least two women and a 21-year-old in Gurez required emergency evacuation from the snowbound valley but could not be airlifted due to “inclement weather” which prevented helicopters from landing there for several days.

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Nisar Ahmad, a former Sarpanch from Gurez, said that there were at least three patients who needed advanced medical care but requests to the district and divisional administration to provide them with a helicopter proved futile despite clear weather conditions.

Currently, an expectant woman from the remote Kilshay village and another 21-year-old youth from Markoot, who suffered a stroke are stuck in the snowbound valley and are critical with complicated medical conditions.

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Another woman who had a complicated pregnancy and needed evacuation gave birth in Gurez.

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"All thanks to the local doctors there who managed to save the woman in difficult circumstances," the Sarpanch said.

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Block Medical Officer of Gurez, Dr Tahira said that the woman from Kilshay was "not in labour" at the moment and still had "one month" until her due date.

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However, she said that the woman was a "high-risk" patient and needed to be airlifted to a hospital in Bandipora or Srinagar.

Dr Tahira said that the woman required a USG, which was not available at the Community Health Centre (CHC) in Gurez, due to the absence of a radiologist or a sonologist.

She said that the woman had been kept under observation at CHC Gurez and was being constantly monitored until air sorties were arranged to evacuate her to a hospital outside Gurez Valley.

The 85-km Gurez-Bandipora Road, partly maintained by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), has been closed to all traffic since last month’s snowfall.

Following a significant outcry, the administration had previously provided gynaecologists on a rotational basis for Gurez Valley.

However, locals said that at present, no gynaecologist was available there.

“There is no gynaecologist available here. All these emergencies are arising due to it. It's very unfortunate for us," the Sarpanch said.

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