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National Safe Motherhood Day 2021 theme: Keep mothers and newborns safe from coronavirus

In India, the number of women who received all four antenatal check-ups during the pandemic dropped by 51 per cent and the number of institutional deliveries were down by 79 per cent. The demand for family planning services satisfied by modern methods fell by 67 per cent.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune |
April 10, 2021 10:49:41 pm
WRAI seeks to enforce that women must have availability and adequate access to care during pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal services. (Representational)

The theme of this year’s celebrations of Safe Motherhood Day is ‘Stay at home during coronavirus, keep mother and newborn safe from coronavirus’

In 2003, At the request of WRAI — or White Ribbon Alliance India, an alliance of 1,800 organisations – the government of India had declared April 11, the birth anniversary of Kasturba Gandhi, as National Safe Motherhood Day.

WRAI seeks to enforce that women must have availability and adequate access to care during pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal services. “The goal of these annual campaigns is to increase awareness that every woman has a right to live and survive pregnancy and childbirth,” said Dr Meenakshi Deshpande, IMA’s Pune president-elect.

Safe motherhood means ensuring all women receive the care they need to be safe and healthy throughout pregnancy and childbirth. India accounts for 15 per cent of total maternal deaths worldwide. Every year 44,000 women die in India due to improper care during the pregnancy. Despite over 80 per cent of women delivering in health facilities, the death rate is still high, said Dr Deshpande.

On occasion of National Safe Motherhood Day, a social awareness webinar will be held on April 14 by IMA Pune, said Dr Deshpande.

In India, the number of women who received all four antenatal check-ups during the pandemic dropped by 51 per cent and the number of institutional deliveries were down by 79 per cent. The demand for family planning services satisfied by modern methods fell by 67 per cent.

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“We have witnessed a steep rise in maternal deaths during the Covid-19 pandemic. This crisis has shown us that we must strengthen health systems to cope with emergencies without impacting essential services,” said Poonam Muttreja, executive director of Population Foundation of India.

“Special attention needs to be paid to prevent and minimise negative consequences of Covid-19 for pregnant women and newborns. All pregnant women, including those with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 infections, have the right to high-quality care before, during and after childbirth. There are simple steps we can all take to keep ourselves, our loved ones and the most vulnerable safe from Covid-19. Wearing a mask always carries highest priority,” said Dr Deshpande.

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