Expecting Gurez women directed to shift to Bandipora for winter

Only patients with high-risk pregnancies asked to shift as winter triggers road closure: Officials
Expecting Gurez women directed to shift to Bandipora for winter
Bandipora-Gurez road remains mostly closed during winters due to accumulation of snow. [File]Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

Bandipora: Locals in the north Kashmir’s Gurez Valley are aghast over the “directives” to shift pregnant women to district headquarters in Bandipora for winter.

They expressed concern saying that the “directives” were harsh and that many could not afford accommodation in Bandipora.

A local, Irshad Hussain Samoon said that all was being done due to the “non-availability” of doctors, especially gynaecologists and specialists in Gurez.

“Many patients who have been asked to remain stationed or shift to Bandipora for winter cannot afford to do so. Most are poor and cannot pay rent,” Hussain said.

Locals including Panchayat, DDC and BDC members protested against this strange “directive” and demanded doctors be kept available at Sub-District Hospital Gurez instead.

Abdul Raheem Lone, a Sarpanch of Dawar Gurez said, “Locals are concerned at the new directive to shift expecting mothers.”

Officials said no “directives” had been issued though patients had been advised to shift to district headquarters to avoid any eventuality.

Gurez Valley remains cut-off for at least six months following heavy snowfall and the Bandipora-Gurez road’s closure plunges the valley into misery for want of basic amenities and proper healthcare.

According to BMO Gurez, Dr Tahira, “The advice is in place to keep or shift high-risk expecting mothers and also those who can afford to remain stationed in Bandipora as snowfall triggers roads closure for months together.”

Officials said that this advice was being given to the patients to avoid any such eventuality.

According to the official data, there are around 44 registered pregnant women in Gurez.

“Many times, air services cannot operate during winter to lift the patients who have complications. So we advised the high-risk pregnant women to remain stationed at the district headquarters,” Dr Tahira said.

Greater Kashmir