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High maternal mortality in India,consortium soon to advise govt

Upset by the recent issue of The Lancet,which has implicated that India has been one of the underpeforming countries in the world regarding maternal mortality...

The Lancet report says over 50% of maternal deaths take place in India,Nigeria,Pakistan,Afghanistan,Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Upset by the recent issue of The Lancet,which has implicated that India has been one of the underpeforming countries in the world regarding maternal mortality,Dr Sanjay Gupte,president of the Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Societies of India has tied up with the Indian Academy of Paediatrics and Neonatalogy Forum to set up a consortium to advise the government on the issue.

Gupte told The Indian Express that this month’s issue themed on ‘Women Deliver’ in The Lancet has also focussed on maternal mortality that remains a major challenge to health systems worldwide. In their article on maternal mortality for 181 countries – 1980-2008 – progress towards the millennium development goal 5,researchers have pointed out that more than 50 per cent of maternal deaths were in six countries — India,Nigeria,Pakistan,Afghanistan,Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The report clearly says India was faring poorly on controlling maternal mortality,said Gupte. He met health officials at the Directorate of Health Services to urge them to set up an advisory forum. “We will now advise the government on key issues related to maternal mortality,” said Gupte.

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He also praised the Delhi High Court’s verdict in a case where a woman was denied admission in a government facility as she did not carry her BPL (Below Poverty Line ) card. The court directed that Delhi and Central Governments should take steps to ensure that this does not ever happen again. It also mentioned that it is the responsibility of the government to see that women,especially pregnant women,get proper health care in our country as it their right.

This will hopefully encourage the government agencies further to see that facilities offered under NRHM and other government health schemes for women — like the Janani Suraksha Yojana — will be properly implemented,said Gupte.

First published on: 11-06-2010 at 23:48 IST
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