The number of births has increased from 1,665 in 2000 to 4,553 last year

The Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology with the national referral hospital in Thimphu delivers at least 12 babies a day.

According to the hospital’s recent annual report, the hospital saw the number of birth increase from 1,665 in 2000 to 4,553 deliveries last year. The hospital recorded 4,523 births in 2016.

Of the 4,553 babies the hospital delivered last year, 3,172 are normal deliveries and 98 instrumental deliveries, which mean the babies were delivered with the help of vacuum and forceps.

Last year, 1,283 babies were born through caesarean sections out of which 338 were elective and the rest due to an emergency.

Gynaecologist with the national referral hospital, Dr Ugyen Tshomo said the number of deliveries increased over the years at JDWNRH because institutional delivery is encouraged and people are aware about the benefits of institutional delivery.

“There are no gynaecologists in all the hospitals nearby Thimphu so the health centres refer the complicated cases to JDWNRH. This could be another reason for the increase,” Dr Ugyen Tshomo said.

Moreover, she said that with improved road conditions, mothers choose to deliver their babies at the national referral hospital.

The department admitted 5,277 patients and saw 23,547 patients in its outpatient department (OPD) last year.

The number of women opting for epidural analgesia also increased to 100 last year from 52 in the previous year since the introduction of the service in the hospital in February 2016.

Under the specialised service, Maternofoetal medicine, the department saw 1,709 high-risk pregnancies and conducted 433 advanced ultrasounds.

While the infertility clinic registered 272 patients last year, the clinic performed intrauterine insemination (IUI) fertility treatment to 93 patients. About 77 patients are undergoing the IUI treatment.

Last year, about 352 patients underwent HSG (hysterosalpingogram) at the hospital’s radiology department and a total of 476 semen analyses were done in the lab. HSG is a test of female fertility potential.

In the report, the department recommends training of a consultant in reproductive medicine and start building In vitro fertilisation (IVF) or the test tube baby programme including ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection).

It also recommends training of a maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) specialist and a gynae oncologist to replace the outgoing ones, start urogynaecology unit, improve laparoscopic services and ICD (international classification of diseases) coding to have valid morbidity data both in OPD and inpatient.

The maternity ward at the hospital has 36 beds, 10 each in the birthing centre and epidural ward and five in delivery rooms. Besides medical interns, the department currently has six consultants and four residents.

The first gynaecology and obstetrics services were started at JDWNRH in the 1970s.

Dechen Tshomo