AP PHOTOS: Sidecar ambulances help moms give birth in India

The motorbike roared as it strained to carry the ambulance sidecar up a steep river bank. The bike’s rear tire whirred in place, kicking up water and mud while the sidecar — a hospital bed on wheels, under a white canvas canopy — lolled dangerously. Two health workers, who had been following on foot, tried pushing it, but it didn’t budge.

Eventually, the three gave up and settled for digging a new path.

After 40 minutes of digging and a push to lift the vehicle from the river bed onto the muddy path, the team was on its way again. The bike ambulance resumed its nine-mile trek across the forest known as Abhujmarh, or “the Unknown Hills,” to reach 23-year-old Phagni Poyam, nine months pregnant in the isolated village of Kodoli.

When the team arrived, Poyam was waiting next to her sleeping 1-year-old boy, Dilesh. Like many babies in Kolodi, Dilesh wasn’t born in a hospital, both because of the distance, and distrust of authorities. But in recent years, Poyam said, she has seen women…

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December 20th, 2022

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