Cotton 2016 in Uzbekistan: Mother Loses Baby while Doctors Harvest Cotton
On September 28, a 21-year-old woman in labor who was brought to the maternity hospital in the Guzar district of Kashkadarya region, received inadequate medical care for an entire day, while the chief doctor of the hospital and the obstetricians were working in the cotton fields. On September 29 the child, whose conditions were critical, died.
Norgul Nurmatova, a resident of the Guzar district in the Kashkadarya region, told Radio Ozodlik that, as a result of a lack of medical care in the 24 hours after she was admitted to the hospital, her 21-year-old daughter-in-law Umida Kuylieva lost her child.
Norgul Nurmatova told told the following to the reporter from Ozodlik: “On the night of September 28, at about 4 o’clock in the morning, my daughter-in-law started having strong contractions and the ambulance took her to the hospital. She was placed in a room on the ground floor (the maternity unit is on the upper floor – Ed.). She was examined by a doctor who said that it was still too early to give birth. After that, none of the doctors went to examine her again. After our prayers, another doctor came to her at 9 o’clock in the evening, but he repeated what the first doctor had said, namely that it was still too early to give birth. At that time, her water broke, she began to bleed and vomited continually. I started to plead with the nurses and in the end they called a doctor from the top floor. However, they told me that the doctor was not there. On the next day my daughter was completely exhausted and then doctors came to her. They began to shout: “Come on, push!”. But my daughter-in-law, who had been suffering for almost two days, could not make any effort anymore. Then two or three doctors started to push her stomach. The child was stillborn”.
“The child suffocated in the mother’s womb”.
Norgul Nurmatova told radio Ozodlik that the doctor of the intensive care unit said that the child swallowed contaminated water and suffocated in the womb.
Ozodlik has been trying to call Nigora Kurbanova, the chief doctor of the maternity hospital in Guzar district, for two days in a row. However, she has not responded to any of the reporter’s calls.
A reporter from Ozodlik was however able to talk to the doctor who was on duty in the maternity hospital, who said that Umida Kuylieva’s birth was troublesome. As soon as Umida heard about the death of her child, she fell into a traumatised state. “She’s hysterical”, said the doctor on duty on the phone.
The father of the dead baby, Shohruh Nurmatov, blames the doctors at the maternity hospital in the Guzar district for his child’s death and for causing severe trauma to his family.
“When we went to the hospital after the baby’s funeral, they told us to go away, since they did not owe us anything. My child died, my wife is suffering from depression and we are in debt now because of all the drugs we had to buy. And now the chief doctor, Nigora Kurbanov, asks us what we want” said Shohruh Nurmatov.
Guzar doctors harvesting cotton
When a reporter from Ozodlik asked Normahmat Kalonov, the head of the health unit of Guzar district, to comment on the death of the baby, it turned out that he was collecting cotton.
“What happened? From the very beginning of the cotton harvest I was working in the fields. I did not know what was going on at the hospital”, said Kalonov. He also added that, after learning what had happened, he would be giving a comment to our radio. However, after this conversation, Ozodlik’s reporter was no longer able to contact him.
October 3, 2016