Yangyel Lhaden

Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH) in Thimphu saw 61 women give birth in six days of ongoing nationwide lockdown.

Birthing centre recorded 52 newborns and maternity ward nine.

Sangay Lhaden became a first-time mother on the third day of nationwide lockdown. “I was home when I got bleeding at midnight and had to call the ambulance.”  Emergency services were available and she did not panic.

Tashi Zam said that after the Lyonchhen announced that women could avail maternity and child vaccination services, it posed no problem to take her niece Dorji Tshomo to the hospital on August 15 for child delivery. Dorji Tshomo gave birth to a baby boy on August 16.

Pasang Wangmo was referred to JDWNRH from Paro on August 8. She delivered her baby on the first day of lockdown. Due to some complications, she had to stay back in the hospital.

“I have no relatives in Thimphu. If the lockdown prolongs after I am discharged from the hospital,  I have nowhere to go,” Pasang Wangmo said.

The problem facing the hospital is with families who are stranded and had to deliver their babies in Thimphu during the lockdown. “Some do not have any relative in Thimphu, so they could not be discharged from the hospital,” said a health official.

One of the nurses said that reduced manpower was one of the main challenges facing the birthing centre. She said that the centre functioned with only three staff with 12-hour shift routine.

Usually there are five to six staffs doing the morning, evening, and night shifts.