25 March

Telangana's maternal health reforms

Certain states in India like Telangana are setting an example with innovative ways to improve the birth outcome by providing pregnant women with birth kits. While cash incentives and mid-wives have always been in the scene, providing birth assistance kits is a novel idea.

The kit contains soaps, oil, talcum powder and mosquito net, and a soft blanket to wrap the baby. The kit is equipped with 16 essential items for a mother and her newborn. The KCR Kit scheme also a cash component of Rs 13,000 for the birth of a girl and Rs 12,000 for the birth of a boy. The money is transferred directly to beneficiary bank accounts in four instalments, starting from a pregnant woman’s first antenatal check check up. The last instalment is paid after the child’s second-round immunisation. All pregnant women in Telangana are eligible for the scheme. This scheme has contributed to Telangana’s rare success in improving the number of deliveries in public hospitals by improving the quality of maternal health services.

The National family health survey of 2015 had showed that although 92% of deliveries in the state were institutional, dost of them were still in private hospitals. With a MMR of 81 per 100000 live births in 2014 - 2016, Telangana is pretty close to the United nations sustainable development goal target of less than 70 maternal deaths per 100000 live births.

Since the implementation of these reforms, the state government says that public institutional deliveries have risen from just over 30% to nearly 50%.

Another important health reform adopted by the state was to  adopt the guidelines for the standardisation of labour rooms. Almost 300 labour rooms in the state were upgraded and standardized.

Adding to this was another reform to create a special cadre of midwives who can provide quality care during pregnancy and childbirth and prevent maternal and infant deaths. Telangana’s midwifery program had now become a model for a national midwifery initiative. The doctors in the state feel that the midwives share their workload and they also provide patient and respectful care to the mothers, which the doctors may not be able to since they may not have that much time in their hands.

Another crucial part of Telangana’s maternal health reforms is the introduction of an ambulance service or the Amma Vodi program to help women in tribal and remote areas who go into labour to get to a health facility in time. The program offers a free pickup and drop for pregnant women going for antenatal checkups, deliveries and immunisation. The program is backed by a call centre that provides 24-hour service on a toll-free number.

Ultimately Telangana has shown that by improving the facilities in Public hospitals and facilitating women to utilize the government facilities can go a big way in reducing the maternal morbidity and mortality.


Credits : https://scroll.in/pulse/916941/how-telangana-is-improving-maternal-mortality-and-bringing-down-c-sections

Last modified on Monday, 25 March 2019 14:48
Dr Padma

Dr Padma is a Family care physician and is the Founder and CEO of MedHealthTV.


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