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New Delhi : The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report carried today on July 31, 2018, that in the Vijayanagaram district of Andhra Pradesh a pregnant woman in labour pain had to be carried by her husband and other villagers for about 12 km through a forest so that she could make it to an ambulance to reach hospital. But before she could get an ambulance, the child was delivered and died. This is not an uncommon incident in Vijayanagaram, a tribal region in the State, which lacks in proper roads and access to health care facilities.

The NHRC has observed that the contents of the media report, if true, raise a serious issue of violation of human rights. Proper roads and health care are basic amenities to be provided by the State to its citizens. Accordingly, it has issued a notice to the Chief Secretary, Government of Andhra Pradesh, calling for a detailed report in the matter within four weeks.

The State Government is expected to inform how many such incidents have occurred during the last one year and the action taken by the authorities on them. The Commission would also like to know the status of the treatment being provided to the victim woman and relief, if any, granted by the state authorities to her, according to an NHRC release.

The Commission has observed that the State is under obligation to ensure access to timely acceptable and affordable health care services to its citizens. There are several flagship schemes being run by the government for pregnant women, newborns and their mothers to fight neo-natal and pre-natal deaths and deaths of mothers during pregnancy and deliveries.

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