Madhya Pradesh gets NHRC notice over HIV+ve pregnant woman

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Thursday issued notice to the Madhya Pradesh government for allegedly treating an HIV-positive pregnant woman in an inhumanly manner that led to the death of her newborn twins.

“The commission has issued a notice to the Chief Secretary, Government of Madhya Pradesh, calling for a detailed report, along with the action taken against the guilty doctors/staff of the hospital, within four weeks,” said a statement from the commission.

Taking note of the incident reported in the media proactively, the commission served the notice to the state as its Tikamgarh District Hospital “refused to treat a woman at an advance stage of pregnancy after they found that she was HIV-positive”.

The commission said that after the hospital found about the HIV status of the woman, instead of tending to her there, it referred her to Jhansi — some 100 km away from Tikamgarh.

As a result of delay in accessing the labour room, the woman gave birth to twins on September 6 outside the maternity ward, and the newborns died only half an hour later.

“The 24-year-old woman from a village located about 70 km from the district headquarters was admitted to the hospital on September 5, 2017. The pathological reports conducted by the hospital were found to be positive for HIV and Hepatiti,” the NHRC statement noted.

“Thereafter, the hospital staff flatly refused to attend to her. The family begged the doctors to attend to her as they did not have the money to hire an ambulance to take her to Jhansi but they did not listen,” said the statement added.

Citing the news reports, the human rights body pointed out that the Civil Surgeon had not conceded negligence on the part of hospital administration.

“We could not take the risk of allowing her into the hospital’s labour room and she was referred to Jhansi,” the Civil Surgeon is reported to have said.

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