Despite falling trend, MMR, IMR alarmingly high in Odisha

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 16:

Although Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) and Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) have decreased in Odisha, they continue to be alarmingly high when compared to the national rate, speakers at a workshop  of civil society organizations (CSOs) on “Maternal, Neonatal,Child Health and Immunization” said here on Monday.


The workshop was organized by People’s Cultural Centre (PECUC),National Centre for Child Rights  in Collaboration with UNICEF, Odisha.

Every year, more than 5, 50,000 women die of pregnancy related causes and 99 percent of these deaths occur in developing countries. India continues to contribute about 25 percent of all global maternal deaths. A large number of deaths are preventable through safe deliveries and adequate maternal care, the speakers said.

In today’s world we often see the uneven distribution of healthcare that leaves many impoverished communities underserved. Geographical, socio-economic, political, and cultural factors all contribute to people’s access to healthcare, both globally and locally.  It is high time we wake up to this terrible reality about maternal and child health care and take adequate step to address the issue, participants said. . 

Inaugurating the workshop, Dr Nirmala Dei, Director, Family welfare, Govt. of Odisha, said health services and medical facilities of the government have increased and expanded remarkably in comparison to private hospitals. People can get health services at a very low-cost in only in government hospitals.

The public needs to  be aware about the various  health and family welfare programmes run by the government and take advantage of them.  CSOs should join hands with the government to ensure  quality service delivery to the common man. Ms. Alka Gupta, Communication specialist, UNICEF, Odisha  shared  the objectives of the workshop.

During the deliberations, participants expressed the view that civil society organizations need to build an environment  for better care and services, involve themselves in mobilizing effective demand for quality services, building awareness of community needs as well on various services available to increase the accessibility and experimenting innovative approaches to service delivery.  While stressing the need for strengthening coordination and cooperation among various service providers, the participants called for massive information dissemination on entitlements.

Dr.Meena Som, Health officer,  UNICEF, Odisha gave a   brief  overview of the reproductive, maternal neonatal, child and adolescent health programmes in Odisha .

Dr. Binapani Nanda,  Joint Director, Maternal Health, Government of Odisha, Dr.Ranjita Pattnaik, Joint Director Rural Health, Dr L.B.Mishra, Additional Director, Directorate of Family welfare  spoke on community entitlements and gave an overview on government  schemes and programmes.

Dr.D.K.Panda team leader SHRC,  Mr.K.KSwain,OVHA, Mrs Usharani Behera, BGVS and Mr. Sudarsan Das, HDF briefed about the challenges in mobilizing communities to create demand for quality health service. Dr.M.Baliarsingh, Project Director  extended the vote of thanks.


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