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In rural Gujarat, 60% mothers die few days after delivery #WTFnews

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VADODRA: Dahod resident Ganga (name changed) went to a private doctor when she suffered from breathlessness and giddiness in the ninth month of pregnancy. She was given medicines and not treated for any other complications. A private doctor few days later diagnosed her with an intrauterine foetal death and referred to the civil hospital where she delivered a stillborn baby. On the fifth day after her discharge, she bled to death before she could reach the hospital.

According to a study conducted by local NGOs of Gujarat working on maternal health, Ganga is one among many such women who die either unattended or because of inability of health care providers to recognize complications on time.

There is absence of any form of post-natal care and continuity of care after deliveries, despite government guidelines mandating at least three post-natal visits to ensure maternal and neo-natal health.

“The main issue that we identified during the research was that the public health system is largely short staffed. In some health centers there no doctors so there is no point expecting a gynaecologist there. There are no sonography machines and other equipment which are the basic requirement,” said member of the Jan Swasthya Abhiyan Pallavi Saha.

Over the period between January 2012 and December 2013 a total of 46 maternal deaths were documented in the report titled ‘Social Autopsies of Maternal Deaths in Select Areas of Gujarat’.

Out of the documented maternal deaths from 15 blocks of 11 districts in the state, 60.8 per cent mothers died after their deliveries. Amongst the post natal deaths, eight occurred within 24 hours of the delivery, three within a week of the delivery and 17 between eight to 42 days of delivery.

“Post-delivery care seems to be completely absent both at the levels of the health system and the community. Mothers are required to stay in the hospital for at least 48 hours but they take discharge immediately because they are largely daily wage workers and can’t forward to miss a day’s work,” she added.

Saha told TOI that the frequent movement of these women also hinders proper medical follow-ups and care leading to a higher maternal mortality rate.

“The lack of gynecologists and doctors in general along with the fact the society gives no importance to post-natal care are the problem areas which need to solved without delay,” Saha said.

There is absence of any form of post-natal care and continuity of care after deliveries, despite government guidelines mandating at least three post-natal visits to ensure maternal and neo-natal health .

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/vadodara/In-rural-Gujarat-60-mothers-die-few-days-after-delivery/articleshow/47161246.cms

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