GOALPARA, Nov 16 – The district administration has taken up some innovative steps to ensure that there is improvement in the overall performance of instituitional deliveries among the poor pregnant women and to reduce the maternal and infant mortality rate in the district.
Talking to this correspondent, Dr P Ashok Babu, Deputy Commisioner and chairman, District Health Society, said that steps are being taken to make positive changes in the health care system, especially the overall mother and child health, and that his main focus is now on raisng the institutional deliveries under Janani Suraksha Yoana (JSY) and at present only 60 per cent pregnant women belonging to economically backward class have been covered under JSY in the district. He is optimistic that this figure will increase manifold as he is closely monitoring all the stakeholders under the scheme but as of now, the number of beneficiaries registered under JSY has been increasing gradually. So far Rangjuli PHC registered the highest and Agia PHC, the lowest institutional deliveries in the district. He also mentioned that due to strict monitoring of the JSY scheme during his tenure as the Deputy Commissioner in Dhemaji, the district witnessed a ten-fold increase in the instituitional deliveries despite being identified as low performing area earlier.
He also said that a user friendly software has been introduced under Project Palna which will not only help to monitor all the pregnant women with accurate information on key health indicators but also will help to take decision on important issues by tracking the data on reproductive and child health and on other idicators like maternal immunization, proper utilisation of referral transport money and new born immunisation, etc and also to keep an eye on ASHA workers who have the responsiblities of first idenfying all the pregnant women in the villages then registering and giving them the necessary intervention till child birth.
Moreover, the Deputy Commisioner has already initiated some strict action and started punishing the underperfoming ASHA workers who are not doing their jobs sincerely.
Meanwhile, Sabnam Chou-dhury, District Programme Manager, NRHM said that motivating all pregnant women to go for institutional delivery is vital and depends on a large extent on creating awareness among the rural people and under Village Health and Nutrition Day awarenes meetings are held at the sub centre level with the villagers including the pregnant women to access the effectiveness of the JSY scheme in that area. She also said these villagers can access all the relevant information from them on health, sanitation, hygiene, nutrition etc during interaction and a Palna kit containing Information Education and Communication (IEC), a bag, a information booklet regarding healthcare of pregnant women, a calendar marked with important dates, a soft toy is given away to every identified pregnant women. Kakoli Sharmah, District Media Expert, NRHM, added that emphasis have been given on group discussions among villgers, Inter Personnel Commnunication (IPC) and meetings at grass-root level to give wider publicity and to popularise the JSY scheme and to bring about a behaviourial change so that the poor pregnant women opt for instituitional delivery and take the opportunity of better health care facliities provided by the government.