Health Dept emphasises on Safe Abortions with Focus on Maternal Health
In order to strengthen the safe abortion services in the city as well as the state, the health & family welfare department has recently conducted training of its personnel.
They will be ensuring that all due medical procedures are followed during the abortion process at different district hospitals and health centres.
Authorities informed that the primary objectives of these centres is to provide safe, high quality services including abortion, family planning as well as post abortion counselling.
AC Baishya, executive director at the National Health Mission (NHM), informed G Plus that safe abortions were already taking place in all district hospitals; however, the department has now taken additional steps to strengthen the practice.
“Now the nurses and medical professionals have been trained this time and our focus is on better implementation of the already existing programme,” he added.
The Assam government has set up centres for safe abortion in different districts of Assam. Gynaecologists from different institutions are engaged in imparting training to the medical officers and nurses who will be working in these centres.
The doctors of the centres will be given training for 12 days, whereas the nurses will be trained for 6 days, informed officials.
According to sources, Ipas Development Foundation, a global organisation, is providing technical support to the state government in this initiative.
The comprehensive abortion care is a programme that offers abortion services to women in a medical set up by trained personnel in a hygienic atmosphere.
Under the safe abortion programme, post abortion treatment guide and family planning advice shall also be imparted to the women.
Some of the primary objectives of the abortion centres are to decentralise the services so that they are closer to women. The services are also meant to be affordable to women and reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and abortions. Further, the abortion programme should identify and serve women with their respective reproductive needs and it should be sustainable to health systems.
Experts maintain that early pregnancies pose a number of risks to the health of the mother as well as the child.
Further, the maternal mortality rate (MMR) in Assam is 300 against the national average of 167 as per the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) IV. MMR is the number of female deaths per 1 lakh live births in a year from any cause related to pregnancy or its management.
The health & family welfare department has undertaken a slew of measures in order to improve these indicators.
Dr Narayan Sharma, consultant, child health at NHM, informed that one of their major focus areas is to emphasise on the maximum number of institutional deliveries.
“A number of complications can be avoided if only the mothers deliver in a hospital with skilled staff. Even in home deliveries we are focussing on skilled birth attendants. Also after delivery, essential newborn care plays a vital role,” said Sharma.
He added that special newborn care units (SNCUs) in all district hospitals and medical colleges are playing a major role in newborn care. These are meant to provide intensive care to newborn babies.
In addition to SNCUs, paediatric intensive care units have also been recently established in three medical colleges till now, said officials.
Further, in a new intervention to improve maternal and child health, Kangaroo mother care (KMC) units are being established in SNCUs. This concept bases itself on skin to skin contact of the baby with the mother, considered especially beneficial for babies born with low birth weight or for premature babies.
Authorities said that six KMC units have been established till now and plans are firmed up to set up more such units across the state.