Expressing concern for the low maternal mortality rate, PM Narendra Modi has announced a new initiative. In an effort to make the situation better for pregnant women, he has started the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan. He announced the new health scheme in his show ‘Mann Ki Baat’ on radio on Sunday.
In the 22nd episode of Mann Ki Baat, the PM talked about various issues like floods, Rio Olympics etc. however, the scheme for pregnant women stood out as a concrete plan. Under this scheme, the 9th of every month will be when pregnant women can avail free medical checkups in any of the government hospitals.
“We have started the Prime Minister’s Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan, under which a free check-up will be given to pregnant women on the 9th of every month in government health centres,” Modi said.
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Modi also asked all the doctors working in government hospitals to join him in his effort. He mentioned that thousands of doctors have accepted his request but India’s large population needs a lot more than thousands, it needs lakhs of doctors to come forward and bond with the mission to help grow the maternal mortality rate.
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The maternal mortality rate has been on a downslide since the 90s. A 2014 UN report found that India has the worst record in terms of maternal mortality rate, where we accounted for 17% of the total deaths of women during pregnancy. Of the total 2.8 lakh women, a shocking 50,000 women died because of complications in child birth. In the light of these figures, this step no doubt is one in the right direction.
Feature Image Credit: Udyavani