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National Maternal Health Workshop inaugurated by Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare

New Delhi, December 14, 2022 : “The country has achieved a momentous milestone in reduction of maternal mortality ratio (MMR) registering a significant decline from 130 in 2014-16 to 97 per lakh live births in 2018-20, but it remains our duty to remove all bottlenecks especially at field level to ensure that every mother is cared for and consequently ensure zero preventable maternal mortality.” This was stated by Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar as she chaired the National Maternal Health Workshop, here today. Aligning with the ‘Sustainable Development Goal Agenda 2030’ for maternal mortality reduction, the theme of the workshop was “Striving for zero preventable maternal mortality”.

Dr Pawar stated that “India is on a positive trajectory for maternal health and child health outcomes and the Government of India is committed to withstanding new challenges and envisages assuring safe motherhood for all its future mothers along with steps towards providing accessible and affordable healthcare.

Earlier, India was losing more than 44,000 mothers. With the implementation of “Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan”, as part of which doctors pledge one day of service per month to this campaign, more than 3.6 crore pregnant women have received comprehensive ANC under this programme across all States and UTs” she added.  

The MoS informed everyone that “MMR decline has been stupendous from 130 in 2014-16 to 97 per lakh live births in 2018-20. The number of states which have achieved Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets, has also now risen from six to eight.”  She further added that “the rapid decline in MMR shows government’s dedication under the visionary leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister towards investments in health initiatives and in turn, ensuring health for all.”

Dr. Pawar congratulated everyone for the achievements of country in terms of maternal and child health metrics. Sharing her field level experiences, she emphasized on the need to remove all bottlenecks and ensure efficient implementation of expert guidelines and best practices. She also urged that “It is not just the responsibility of government, community health workers, NGOs, civil society but every citizen of the country must consider it as their duty to ensure Surakshit Matritva, and work towards  zero preventable maternal deaths in India.”

She stressed on robust state monitoring and auditing at various levels of governance, capacity building of medical staff and accurate information disbursal. She also urged that best practices must be discussed and shared regularly. Giving the example of rapid adaptation of technology during COVID pandemic, for e.g. teleconsultations through esanjeevani, Dr. Pawar said that similar innovative interventions can be implemented in our quest to achieve holistic healthcare for all.

During the event, Dr. Pawar unveiled the Midwifery-led care units (MLCUs) brochure and Standard Operating Protocol posters for labour rooms to enable quality of care around birth in public health facilities. She also introduced the Maternal health guidance booklet for community health officers (CHOs) and SUMAN community linkages brochure. Several Audio-Visual films like “An Odyssey of Maternal Health in India”, AV film on “Midwifery Initiative: promotional video”, Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyaan were showcased at the event.

Several states were awarded for their remarkable efforts and achievements in the area of maternal health. These are:

  1. Intensive efforts in reducing MMR:  1st position: Kerala and 2nd Maharashtra
  2. Performance as per the NFHS-5: Antenatal Care services & Institutional deliveries
    1. In 4 ANC services
      1. 1st position- Madhya Pradesh; 2nd position Rajasthan
    2. Increase in Institutional Delivery in large states-
      1. 1st position West Bengal; 2nd position Uttar Pradesh
  3.  Roll out of SUMAN:
    1. In bigger state category, highest SUMAN notification
      1. 1st position- Punjab; 2nd position- Tamil Nadu
    2. In smaller state category, highest SUMAN notification
      1. 1st position – Goa; 2nd position- Tripura
  4. Quality certifications under LaQshya:
    1. In Bigger state category, Karnataka bagged the first position.
    2. In small state category, Chandigarh was the winner.
    3. In absolute numbers of certifications, Madhya Pradesh holds 1st position.
    4. Gujarat won the state with highest number of medical colleges prize. 
  5. High-risk pregnancy management under PMSMA.
    1. Tamil Nadu was best performing state.
    2. Manipur bagged the first prize for rapid rollout of extended PMSMA.
  6. Bolstering the teamwork among the frontline workers, the best ANM- ASHA teams went to State of Uttar Pradesh.
  7. Midwifery initiative: Best performing state was Telangana.

Ms. Roli Singh, AS & MD (NHM) said that rapid decline in MMR has been due to strong vision of the government, political commitment, well-designed policies, efforts by our stakeholders and significant investment in the National Health Mission. Various Initiatives like Labour Room Quality Improvement Initiative (LaQshya) in conjunction with the existing schemes like Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK), Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY), Surakshit Matritva Aashwasan’ (SUMAN) etc., for women are creating a responsive health care system which strives to achieve zero preventable maternal and newborn deaths.

Senior officers from the Union Health Ministry including Dr. P. Ashok Babu, Joint Secretary (RCH), Dr S K Sikdar, Advisor (FP and MH), Dr Padmini Kashyap, Deputy Commissioner, MH and representatives from various development partners were also present.

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