“Sustained development of the country can be achieved only if we take holistic care of our women and children. Maternal and child mortality and morbidity indicators reflect not only how well the health system is functioning, but also the degree of equity in public service delivery, utilisation of services, the social status of women and our concern for children”, observed the Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Sudip Bandyopadhyay, at Jaipur on 11th March, the event being National Safe Motherhood Day.
“Ensuring quality services for safe motherhood” was the theme for 2012 National Safe Motherhood Day. Launching the celebrations from Jaipur, the Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Sudip Bandyopadhyay said women are strong pillars of any vibrant society.
In India, over the last decade there has been a considerable decline in MMR, IMR and TFR. However, Regional disparities are considerable and an extra impetus needs to be given to the efforts to accelerate the pace of decline in these indicators in many states, cautioned Shri Bandyopadhyay.
Over the last few decades, the country has taken many initiatives and made progress. With the implementation of schemes like Janani Suraksha Yojana by Government of India we have been able to bring the women in the institutional fold.
Government of India has also taken several policy decisions to improve quality in service delivery, the Minister elaborated. Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs), Staff nurses (SNs) and Lady health visitors (LHVs) are being trained as skilled birth attendants, MBBS doctors are being trained in Essential life saving obstetric and anaesthetic skills, various types of equipments are being provided to the States, Infrastructure of the health facilities are being strengthened and new constructions are being sanctioned wherever the same is not available.
“We have also launched Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakaram (JSSK) entitling every pregnant women delivering at govt health facilities free drugs, free diagnostics, free diet , free delivery and Caesarean Section, free to and fro transportation. Similar facilities have been given to all sick neonates upto one month”, said the Minister while releasing the publicity material at the function held today during the Consultation Commemorating National Safe Motherhood Day.
The Minister also gave away Health Workers Awards to best performing ANMs, ASHAs, etc. Shri Bandyopadhyay also flagged off the Hamari Beti Express alongwith, A. A. Khan, State Health Minister, Government of Rajasthan, on the occasion. The Minister hoped that deliberations during the day and way forward as deliberated would help us in not only understanding barriers in provision of quality care but also charting out a road map for future.
11th April, which is the birth anniversary of late Kasturba Gandhi, is being celebrated every year as National Safe Motherhood Day, from 2003 onwards. On this day celebration are organized throughout the country involving different stake holders to sensitize the people, media, health professionals and health institutions about safe motherhood.