Skip to main content

Gujarat NGO workshop doubts govt claims on reduced maternal mortality rate

By Our Representative
A recent workshop held under the aegis of the Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, Gujarat, at Vadodadra has doubted the Gujarat government’s loud claim that the state has registered 23.75 per cent decline in maternal mortality rate (MMR) between 2004-06 and 2010-12, from 160 per 100,000 to 122 per 100,000.
Quoting a study conducted jointly by local NGOs working on maternal health (Sewa Rural, Chetna, Sahaj and Anandi), the workshop was told that “out of 46 maternal deaths that were documented and analysed (from 15 blocks of 11 districts), an alarming 28 deaths occurred during the post natal period.”
The study said, an analysis of the 28 post-natal deaths suggests that eight deaths “occurred within 24 hours, three within a week of the delivery and the rest (17) between eight to 42 days of delivery.” It added, “Out of the 46 maternal deaths, the highest number of deaths (26.08%) were directly attributed to haemorrhage during antepartum, intrapartum and postpartum period.”
Even if one relies on official figures, the workshop was told, the state has far to go to achieve the millennium development goals (MDGs) of the United Nations – MMR of 109 per 100,000 by 2015. Only three states of India have so far achieved MDG — Kerala with an MMR of 66, Tamil Nadu with an MMR of 90, and Maharashtra with an MMR of 87.
Participated by representatives from 20 civil society organizations, experts and government officials, the workshop was offered specific instances of how maternal health remains a neglected area in Gujarat. Names were changed in order to hide the identity.
The first instance was of Jyoti from Anand district, who was pregnant for the second time and was severely anaemic. She was given iron supplements by a rural health Asha worker. But she would not consume them. In her ninth month, she was admitted in a government hospital as she was suffering from cold, cough and very low haemoglobin. She was given four bottles of blood in two days and discharged.
A few days later, Jyoti complained of labour pain. Due to lack of blood facility in the government hospital, she was admitted in a private hospital, where she delivered a baby boy. However, she was severely anaemic, and the family could not pay for the blood. Her family requested for discharge from the hospital the next day. Four days later, the woman complained of breathing problems and died.
Another instance was of Gangaben from Dahod district. She went to a private practitioner during her ninth month of pregnancy with breathlessness and giddiness. She was given medicines and not treated for any other complications. When she approached a private doctor a few days later, she was diagnosed to have an intrauterine foetal death and was referred to the Civil Hospital.
Since there was no doctor, her family took her to two different private hospitals before she was admitted in one, where she delivered a stillborn baby, was discharged and sent home. No health worker visited her to check on her. She developed bleeding on the fifth day and died while being carried in an ambulance.
Third was the case of Urmila, a tribal migrant from Panchmahals district. She was pregnant with her fourth baby and suffering from breathlessness during the ninth month and visited a primary health centre (PHC), from where she was referred to the taluka hospital, and further to the district hospital. The doctor there recommended her to a private hospital where he would be unavailable at night.
However, Urmila’s family returned home since it could not afford expenses in the private hospital. After a few days, when the family managed to arrange for some money, they visited a private hospital in another town, from where she was referred to a medical college. The doctor in the medical college there referred her to a private hospital. Tired, the family decided to go back home. Urmila died the same night.
The workshop was told that while the Gujarat government claims emergency services at doorsteps in every nook and corner of the state, these instances show that “this is a far cry.” It wondered, “How and when will the health department ensure the availability of blood at short notice without making it a patient’s responsibility?”
Participants complained of a severe lack of “any form of post-natal care after childbirth”. There was, in fact, only “some notional effort” to provide ante-natal care, while post-partum care seemed completely absent almost everywhere.
The workshop heard views on healthcare system in Gujarat by senior economist Prof Indira Hirway, budget analyst Mahendra Jethmalani, and activists Renu Khanna (Sahaj), Neeta Hardikar(Anandi) and Jagdish Patel (People’s Training Research Centre). Dr Diviesh Patel from the state health and family welfare department was also present.

Comments

TRENDING

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

"Misleading" satellite images being shared on Balakot surgical strike on Jaish camp

By Dr Vinay Kate*
With every passing day more questions are being raised about the surgical strike India did in Balakot as a response to Pulwama attacks. So far the Indian media has claimed mass casulaty of 300+ terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammad in this surgical strike, but there is hardly any report from foreign media about the same.

Extreme repression, corporate loot, cultural genocide "characterise" India's tribal belt

Counterview Desk
As Lok Sabha polls approach, there is considerable ferment in one section of the population -- India's Adivasis, forming about 8.6 per cent of India's population. Things became particularly critical following the February 14, 2019 Supreme Court order, allegedly seeking to evict lakhs of tribals from their forest lands.

Industry in India "barely growing", export growth 0%, whither moral anchors?

Counterview Desk
In a sharp critique of the Modi government, the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A), one of world renowned economist Prof Kaushik Basu, who is Professor of Economics and Carl Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University, has told students at the IIM-A’s 54th Annual Convocation on March 16, 2019 that they have a “special responsibility” on their shoulders, “the responsibility to reject narrow sectarianism, uphold scientific thinking, openness to new ideas, and freedom of speech.”

Gujarat model? Industrial effluents "invade" borewells, discharge coloured water in farms

By Rajiv Shah
In a major embarrassment for Gujarat model, of the 21 samples taken by officials of the state government's environmental watchdog Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) in two villages of Vadodara district and analyzed by its laboratory in Gandhinagar, the state capital, to find out pollution level in groundwater, 16 were assessed as highly contaminated – these were, in fact, found to be discharging reddish, brownish, reddish, or yellowish water.

Congress would win just 9 of 26 Lok Sabha seats: Gujarat Assembly segment-wise analysis

By Rajiv Shah
Even as the Congress plans its first working committee meet in Gujarat on February 28 after an almost 58 year gap, there is reason to wonder what is in store for India’s grand old party in a state which has been long been a BJP bastion – in fact ever since mid-1990s. Ahead of the then assembly polls in late 2012, talking with me, a senior Gujarat Congress leader, currently Rajya Sabha MP, frankly said he saw no reason why Congress would win.

Refugees as criminals? US govt report blames Amit Shah for calling Bangladeshis termites

Counterview Desk
The chapter “Freedom of Movement” of the US State Department’s “India 2018 Human Rights Report”, released recently, has criticized BJP chief Amit Shah for terming alleged Bangladeshis who may be in Assam as “termites”, because their names were struck down from the list of National Register of Citizens, under preparation in the state.
Pointing out that four million residents were excluded from Assam’s final draft list, leading to “uncertainty over the status of these individuals, many of whose families had lived in the state for several generations”, the report regrets, the Indian law does not even contain the term “refugee,” treating refugees like Rohingiyas as “any other foreigners.”
“Undocumented physical presence in the country is a criminal offense. Persons without documentation were vulnerable to forced returns and abuse”, the report says.
Text of the Freedom of Movement chapter: The law provides for freedom of internal movement, foreign travel, emigration, a…

"Pro-corporate" Supreme Court order on FRA would further marginalize Adivasis

By VS Roy David, JP Raju*
For millions of Adivasis and other traditional forest dwellers February 13, 2019 will go down in history as the day of apocalypse. This is like the proverbial Black Friday where millions of most marginalized people of India were ordered by malicious anti-people draconian Supreme Court order depriving them the life and livelihood by evicting them from their habitats.

Financial inclusion? Not micro-loans; India's poor "need" investment in health, education

By Moin Qazi*
India has grown into a global powerhouse. Its economy is soaring but the picture on the ground is still quite arid. The green shoots that you see are only a patch of its landscape. Most Indians are hapless victims of inequity. India is one country where intense poverty abounds in the shadow of immense wealth.

India, Pakistan told to eliminate nuclear weapons: N-war "would kill" 2 billion

Counterview Desk
The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), a non-partisan federation of national medical organizations in 64 countries, representing tens of thousands of doctors, medical students, other health workers, and concerned citizens, claiming to share the common goal of creating a more peaceful and secure world freed from the threat of nuclear annihilation, has warned that “an unprecedented global catastrophe” awaits the globe against the backdrop of warmongering in India and Pakistan.