New Delhi: Smt Anupriya Patel, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare recently inaugurated a seminar on “Women’s Health Challenges, Access and Prevention” organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), here . Speaking at the function, Smt Anupriya Patel stated that women are strong pillars of any vibrant society and sustained the development of the country can be achieved only if we take holistic care of the women and children.
Smt Anupriya Patel also released a report on Breast Cancer Landscape in India in the presence of Dr Vinod Paul, Member, NITI Ayog and Ms Preeti Sudan, Secretary (Health).
Speaking at the occasion, Smt Anupriya Patel stated that India has made considerable progress in the area of women’s health. “Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) is one such indicator which reflects this progress. India’s MMR in the last few years has declined at an accelerated pace to reach 130 per one lakh live births in 2014-16. This means we save more than 30 mothers every day,” she said.Smt Anupriya Patel further stated that under the National Health Mission a “continuum of care” approach is employed to ensure the best possible health outcomes for women throughout their reproductive life-cycle.
“As a result of these interventions, institutional deliveries have risen to 78.9% and more importantly, institutional births in public facilities have increased from 18% to 52% under NHM. In the rural areas, the out of pocket expenditure for childbirth in public health facilities has also decreased,” she elaborated.
Reiterating the Government’s commitment to providing quality healthcare services, Smt Anupriya Patel said that quality of care is an area that requires greater attention. Recognizing this the Ministry of Health has launched ‘LaQshya – Labour room Quality improvement Initiative’ in 2017.
LaQshya program is a focused and targeted approach to strengthen key processes related to the labour rooms and maternity operation theatres which aims at improving quality of care around birth and ensuring Respectful Maternity Care, she added. The Minister further said that with the launch of Ayushman Bharat, interventions to address issues of women’s health will be further strengthened and made women-centric.
Dr Vinod Paul, Member, NITI Aayog said that efforts to reduce MMR have to be doubled and initiatives such as Ayushman Bharat will help towards this. He emphasized on the need for research linked to screening, referral services and further treatment and said that models of healthcare ought to lead to better outcomes.
Ms Preeti Sudan, Secretary (Health) said that women’s health has received attention in a ‘continuum of care’ framework along with interventions such as ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’. She added that empowerment of women and their health are very closely related and the rise in institutional deliveries through Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakaram (JSSK) and Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) are providing healthcare services to encourage this.
She further elaborated on the comprehensive primary health care services being provided under Ayushman Bharat which provide screening for many ailments, and women are now being screened for common cancers such as breast, cervical and oral cancers.