Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government's 'Samajwadi Ambulance Service' may have been marred by controversy due to its name, but the ambulances under the scheme have seen the births of over 9,500 children in the state.
"The ambulance service, which started on September 14 last by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has become birth place for 9,644 children. It included three families, which had twins and two families which had triplets. All these births took place inside ambulances," a senior official told PTI.
The top 10 districts where children were born inside the ambulances included Hardoi with 654 cases, Bareilly with 418 cases, Sitapur with 308 cases and Badaun with 287 cases.
Apart from the births that took place inside the ambulances, 35,000 children were born at home by emergency medical technicians available in the ambulances, he said.
In the past 15 months, 17.66 lakh persons have been benefited by the ambulance service, the official said. At present, 988 ambulances are available in 75 districts by dialing 108 from any phone or mobile.
The ambulance service, which is funded by National Rural Health Mission, attracted controversy with the Centre demanding the state to scrap the word 'Samajwadi' from the name of the service. However, the ruling Samajwadi Party refused to do so.
State Health Minister Ahmad Hasan said encouraged by the response, the state government is soon starting ambulance service dedicated to pregnant women.
The new ambulance service will be available by dialing 102.