TT, Jalpaiguri, March 24: The Jalpaiguri district health department today said it would soon launch "waiting huts" for pregnant women at government health establishments to encourage institutional delivery of children.
At the huts, expectant mothers can come and stay for around five days ahead of their expected delivery date, Jagannath Sarkar, the district chief medical officer of health, said.
Sources in the health department said accommodation would be given to around 50 expecting mothers in the first phase, but the capacity would be increased in due course.
According to Sarkar, from April 2016 to February this year, 23,425 children have been born in the district and 1,175 of them were delivered at home, particularly in the remote areas and on tea estates.
"We want to encourage 100 per cent institutional delivery in the district to bring this figure to zero and so, we have taken the initiative to open waiting huts for pregnant women. The unused rooms in the district and block hospitals and primary health centres across the district would be used as huts. In case there is no such room at any government health establishment, arrangements would be made with the existing space," Sarkar said.
The CMOH said expecting mothers would be provided with food, accommodation and necessary facilities at the waiting hut.
"Doctors will conduct check-up at regular intervals. After the delivery, the mothers and babies would be provided with transport facility to reach home. It has also been decided to provide a stipend of Rs 100 daily to those who will stay at the facility for institutional delivery," he added.
A physician at the Jalpaiguri district hospital said delivering a child at home could lead to a lot of complications. "There is a risk of septicemia in both mother and child, which can be fatal," he said.