#GoodNews: Odisha Doc Crosses Hill & River to Aid Woman in Labour

Dr Rath’s actions are the latest in a list of extraordinary services by Odisha’s young doctors.

2 min read

The Hippocratic oath is a 2,500-year-old pledge doctors take outlining the duties and ethical principles the profession holds sacred. Making the best use of the essence of the oath is Yagnadatta Rath, a 29-year-old doctor from Odisha. Setting an example for his own community, the doctor trekked up a hill and waded across the river to rescue a tribal woman who went into labour on the way to the hospital, Hindustan Times reported.

The pregnant woman Sitadadu Raita lives in a village named Balam, 7 km away from the health centre which is nearly inaccessible and can be covered only on foot by meandering through the hill and the river, the HT report added.

Dr Rath, 29, works as an ad hoc doctor at Tumudibandha community health centre in Kandhamal where Maoists exercise considerable influence among the tribals.


Raita, a Kutia Kondh tribal and a first-time mother, had delivered the baby but her placenta had not come out. According to the HT report, Raita had started walking towards the Tumudibandha health centre but could not continue after a point. Her husband soon contacted the block level officer. Rath then set out to reach the spot on foot after covering 4 km in an ambulance.

When I reached the spot, the woman had delivered a girl, but her placenta had not come out. Normally, there is a lot of bleeding at this stage. Luckily, nothing of that sort had happened.
Dr Yagnadatta Rath to Hindustan Times

Rath has become the ‘poster boy’ of Odisha’s otherwise fractured healthcare system. The state health and family welfare department lauded Rath for his dedication, saying that it is proud of such “role models in the department.”

But the state is not new to such acts of kindness. Rath’s call to duty is the latest in a list of extraordinary services by Odisha’s young doctors that instills one’s faith in humanity.

Last year, Dr Omkar Hota did what doctors seldom do. Working in Maoist violence-affected Malkangiri district, he carried a tribal woman who was bleeding after childbirth for 10 km on a cot, HT reported.

(With inputs from Hindustan Times)

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