28 December 2011

One Mother Dies in Every 8 mins in India

In 2011, every 8 minutes a mother loses her life due to childbearing. The eye-opener fact has been revealed by a NGO, Centre for Health Education Training and Nutrition Awareness (CHETNA).

"The rural and tribal areas are the 'under-served' areas, where mothers succumb to death owing to lack of access to health services. Most of the women from urban slum areas also face the same challenges as Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and the Community Health Centres (CHC) lack adequate facilities and training required to take care of mothers in the initial hours of birth, and 48 hours post birth," said Indu Capoor, Director, CHETNA, while explaining the whole concept. 11th April has been declared as Safe Motherhood Day.
1 Mother Dies in Every 8 Mins in India


Deprived diagnoses for symptoms leads to absence of medical action, which results in unpreventable deaths, feels Capoor. The killer in all the cases has been Anemia, 59 percent adolescents, 32 percent pregnant women and 28 percent lactating mothers mentioned absence of nutritious diet and inadequate diet as the prime causes of anemia.

The government is making efforts but the pace is very slow due to inadequate trained doctors and nurses. Therefore, in an approach to address the high rate of maternal mortality in India, Roche Diagonstic India, a Swiss pharma subsidiary, majorly active in scientific research, clinical laboratory systems and patient self monitoring, is looking forward to private-public partnership route.

Dr. Bhuwnesh Agrawal, MD, Roche Diagnostics India, said, "India has among the world's highest maternal mortality rates, with 219 deaths for every one lakh births. This means that a mother dies every five minutes," as quoted by Economic Times. He further added, India requires a lot of effort to meet the Millenium Development Goal, set up by United Nations. The goal is to bring down to 109 deaths for every 1 lakh births by 2015.

Dr. Agarwal feels, "Preeclampsia, or hypertension, is the biggest killer, accounting for a third of maternal mortality. But this is treatable and we have introduced a test which can detect the condition in time and treat it."

PPP model or the public-private partnership can be useful to do these tests. Such a model can provide an infrastructure to examine the samples collected by government workers. He added, mothers prone to risk will be treated with much aggression, under such condition. He suggested, "Such a centre should be located in an urban area, attached to a big hospital."

Despite the fact that the government has the power and resources to fix the issue, the maternal mortality rate are still falling short of cutting edge solutions. The PPP model could serve the purpose.