This male nurse is breaking social taboos, one delivery at a time
Akhil is a male nurse and health care provider with 108 (ambulance service) in Thiruvananthapuram. Seven years back, after he joined the service, they received a call from a four-year-old girl. The child informed that her mother was in labor pain and directed the ambulance to her house.
After reaching the locality, Akhil realised that the ambulance could not enter that street. He could not carry the woman to the ambulance either, as the baby’s head had come out by then.
Akhil timely action without a moment's hesitation helped the mother deliver her child. Then he took them both to the hospital.
In the seven years since, he has delivered 13 children - inside the house or in ambulance and sometimes on the road. Talking about his experience to The News Minute, he said,
"Some two years ago, I had helped this woman deliver her first baby inside the ambulance while we were on our way to the hospital. We pulled over the ambulance and conducted the delivery. Recently, I was rushing a pregnant woman and her husband in the ambulance, and they told me that I had helped deliver their first child. This time, too, the woman went into labor before we reached the hospital and I helped deliver the baby."
As most of the deliveries that he helped with happened in the ambulance, people in the locality have started calling the ambulance 'the delivery ambulance'.
A WHO study revealed that five women die every hour in India due to complications arising from childbirth according to Times of India. That means nearly 45,000 women die every year and most of them can be prevented with timely medical help.
Akhil is satisfied with the kind of work he does as it involves saving lives - not one but two in most cases. However, it is not without its challenges and problems.
The taboo attached to being treated by a male nurse is so strong that even after a woman has entered labor, either the women or their families have refused to let him examine or treat them, which has led to complications later. However, he doesn't let that stop him from doing what he considers one of the most fulfilling jobs.