National Safe Motherhood Day (NSMD) is observed annually on 11 April in India. The day is majorly dedicated to creating awareness for medical facilities, especially for pregnant and lactating women.
The day is an initiative of the Non-profit organization, White Ribbon Alliance (WRA). It is working intending to ensure that pregnancy and childbirth for all women and newborns should be safe and healthy. Annually, thousands of mothers die across the world during childbirth due to the absence of proper and right medical care. Thus, the need to raise the right awareness in the society about the healthcare facilities and maternity for women came into need.
Back in 2003, the Indian Government announced that the country will observe this day as National Safe Motherhood Day (NSMD) to honor Kasturba Gandhi on her birth anniversary, and India became the first country to do so.
The day also focuses on diminishing the anemia cases among women. And to offer the facility of institutional delivery and better pre and post-natal health care to them. Every single woman out there has a major right to antenatal care during pregnancy and skilled care during delivery.
Moreover, the WHO guidelines say all births should be assisted by professional doctors. The timely management and treatment during childbirth can make a big difference between life and death for both the mother and her baby.
WRAI seeks to enforce that women must have availability and adequate access to care during pregnancy to women. The IMA’s Pune President-elect Dr. Meenakshi Deshpande said- “The goal of these annual campaigns is to increase awareness that every woman has a right to live and survive pregnancy and childbirth”.
She added- Safe motherhood means ensuring all women receive the care they need to be safe and healthy throughout pregnancy and childbirth. India accounts for 15 percent of total maternal deaths worldwide. Every year 44,000 women die in India due to improper care during pregnancy. Despite over 80 percent of women delivering in health facilities, the death rate is still high.
Moreover, for discussing the same, a webinar will be held on social awareness on April 14 by IMA Pune, said by Dr. Deshpande.
During the pandemic in India, the medical checkup and antenatal dropped by 52 percent, and the count of deliveries was down by 79 percent. And the demand for family planning services satisfied by modern methods dropped by 67 percent.
Lastly “Special attention needs to be paid to prevent and minimize 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 the highest priority,” added Dr. Deshpande.
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