Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in collaboration with UNICEF launched Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Yojana aimed at improving maternal and child health. It is aimed to realise the objective of providing effective, efficient and ensured delivery of medical services for the prenatal care of a large number of pregnant women across the country. Let us look at the salient features of the policy.
• On the 9th day of every month, any pregnant woman is free to avail any range of antenatal services along with ultra sound and other diagnostic facilities in government hospitals in every district of all the states. It aims to cover 3 crores of such women annually.
• It aims to help the country to achieve the designated Sustainable Development Goal of Maternal Mortality Rate and Infant Mortality Rate by targeting high risk pregnancy.
Pre-requisites for the scheme-
Success of the scheme will depend on the mind-set, implementation, infrastructure and preparation of the government and the ownership of the civil society in partnership with the private sector. A healthy India is a boon for all the pillars of our society.
• Lack of adequate infrastructure in the form of ‘Public Health Centres’ and insufficient human resources in the government hospitals. 1 doctor for every 2000 persons, which should come down to 1 doctor for every 1000 persons (as per WHO).
• Lack of uninterrupted power supply for the screening purpose in the rural areas. Ultra sound and other diagnostic facilities are useless without electricity.
• Nuclear families, late marriage, high rate of infertility and alienation in society is breeding high risk pregnancy for the women. It would be a daunting task to address such societal transitions.
• The pregnant mother gets infected with chronic diseases very easily in India due to insanitation, inadequate medical facilities and other factors.
• It is important to build up a formal ground level structure to accommodate challenges of local level within its ambit. ASHA workers need to be sensitised, trained and educated effectively for the proper disbursal of relevant information in rural areas.
• Adequate transfer of funds, facilities, knowledge and attention to the rural areas would help to build up the base of rural health specialists and infrastructure facilities in India. Incentives for marketing of ideas would boost the morale of ground level staff too.
• Urban doctors and trainees should be incentivised and encouraged to travel to rural grounds for resolving the actual issues at hand. Indian Medical Association and top private hospitals could collaborate for such a noble initiative.
Previously the Government had launched ‘Mother Absolute Affection Programme’ and ‘Mission Indradhanush’ for exclusive breast feeding and immunisation, respectively. All the three schemes are very well synchronised and targeted delivery of services would brighten up our prospects to outshine our peers in the field of realising the goals mentioned under SDGs.
For more information keep visiting Raj Malhotra IAS Academy