11 April 2013: National Safe Motherhood Day
National Safe Motherhood day was observed across India on 11 April 2013 to create awareness on proper healthcare and maternity facilities to pregnant and lactating women. Our correspondent reports the Centre has written to the states to strengthen implementation of Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojna maternity benefit scheme. The review of the progress of the IGMSY will be conducted from the 15th to 25th of this month.
Surviving childbirth is a basic right of every woman and a social responsibility. Ensuring institutional delivery, reducing anemia among women by providing Iron-Folic Acid supplements and better pre and postnatal health care are necessary for mothers. Prevention of child marriages which are indirect causes of maternal deaths is also an important factor. Right to good quality nutrition and health services during and after pregnancy and childbirth and the removal of barriers that contribute to maternal mortality would go a long way towards safe motherhood. In India, the national average of maternal mortality has come down by 17 per cent according to the 2011 census data and efforts are on to achieve the millenium development goal of reducing maternal mortality rate to 139 per one lakh live births by 2015.