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Jharkhand nurse risks life to vaccinate kids in Maoist-hit land, with baby on back

Ranchi: Manti Kumari, a contractual auxiliary nurse midwife (ANM), carries her one-and-a-half-year-old daughter on her back and a vaccination box on her shoulder as she walks across a river in Mahuadanr Block of Latehar, Jharkhand, to carry out an immunisation campaign for young children.

Manti, who is posted at the Chetma health sub-centre, has to cover eight villages, for which she must travel up to 40 kilometres through deep jungle and cross a river to reach the children.

Manti told the media that it’s nothing new for her because she’s been doing it for more than a year, after returning to work following a three-month maternity break.

All of this arduous effort is done six days a week, including daily treks of approximately 40 kilometres through the woods to feed her kid and husband Sunil Oraon, who lost his job owing to the lockdown. However, she makes sure that other families and their children are safe in the Maoist hotbed’s remotest villages, where medical help is scarce.

Amit Khalkho, a medical officer at the Chetma health sub-centre, also stated that the region is full of difficult terrains, with health workers trekking rivers and deep woods on a regular basis to reach isolated communities in Mahuadanr. ‘However, the fact that she frequently walks the full trip while carrying her 1.5-year-old daughter on her back is extremely commendable,’ the doctor added.


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