"The health of women, especially pregnant women, is a matter of grave concern. In today's scenario, the health sector has seen so much advancement. More than 200 pregnant women out of 100,000 died during labor pains in (India). Although there has been significant strides in reducing the mother mortality rate, a lot needs to be done in tackling the problem."
The latest in global sexual and reproductive health news
MSD for Mothers recently announced the launch of its global initiative to reduce maternal mortality in India. It is partnering with three NGOs to improve the quality of healthcare received by pregnant women in India.
By allying with the Hindustan Latex Family Planning Promotion Trust, Pathfinder International with World Health Partners and the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood with Gram Vaani, Merck will be able to help nearly 500,000 pregnant women in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Jharkhand.
Coordinated efforts by NGOs and the private sector are necessary to take various government schemes to grass roots level and to reduce the maternal mortality rate, National Commission for Women chairperson Mamta Sharma said on Tuesday.
“We have made great strides towards Millennium Development Goal 5, but we know there’s more work to do to reach that target,” Mamta Sharma, chairperson, National Commission for Women said speaking at the India launch. “These new partnerships demonstrate innovative ways of working together to address this issue and bring India closer to our goal.”
"We are launching the programme in India as part of our global initiative. We would be investing $10 million over the next three years in this initiative," MSD India Manging Director K G Ananthakrishnan told reporters here.
As part of the Ananya programme, BBC Media Action is working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to reduce maternal and infant mortality by 40% in Bihar, India by 2015.
Pathfinder’s work in the state for past nine years has resulted in significant reduction of new HIV infections, said T K Jayarajan. This convention is the first-of-its-kind where specific issues of marginalised communities in accessing their rights for social inclusion and protection is being discussed.
Focus Area: Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health
“Ever since the CLC was set up as part of a project by Pathfinder International’s programme — Mukta — women have found a platform from where they can discuss their concerns and interests,” says T K Jayarajan, deputy director (documentation), Pathfinder International.
“With our help, the women decided to get together and address their issues collectively. Hence, we held elections in June 2011 and a core committee of 12 FSWs got elected. The task before them was not just related to their business like ensuring no minors in brothels or propagating condom usage but taking up issues beyond their profession," said Dr Khursid Bhalla from Pathfinder International.
Harvard Business School Publishes Case Study of Pathfinder International Large-Scale HIV Prevention Program in India with Most-At-Risk Populations
Darshana Vyas, project director, Pathfinder International, said, "The convention was held at Panhala (Kolhapur district) and was an attempt to re-energise the MSM community, strengthen community feeling and leverage greater leadership and involvement in project governance and implementation."
The peer educators cannot read and write, but this pictorial system enables them to be the primary data collectors for the micro-planning system that was key to scaling up Pathfinder International's HIV prevention program in Maharashtra, India called Mukta.
Notwithstanding India's "rapid" economic growth, higher infant and maternal mortality rates are "robbing" Indian women and girls of their chances to make a contribution, National Commission for Women chief Mamata Sharma said today.