Mothers are not only birth givers but also nurturers, the Government of India and UNICEF are actively indulged in promoting safe motherhood practices. In wake of this, The National Safe Motherhood Day (NSMD) is celebrated every year on April 11 in India in order to generate awareness about providing proper healthcare and maternity facilities to expecting mothers and lactating women. We bring you a few facts about NSMD.
It was in the year 2013, that the Government of India declared April 11, as the National Safe Motherhood Day on the birth anniversary of political activist Kasturba Gandhi. Since then, every year campaigns are carried out to continue delivering progress for women and children. This day is celebrated to ensure that all women receive the care they need to be safe and healthy throughout pregnancy and childbirth.
In addition to campaigning together, NGOs and governments come together to share their technical expertise and resources with each other.
India is supposedly the first country in the whole world to have officially declared a NSMD.
This day is an initiative of the White Ribbon Alliance India (WRAI) and an effort that women should have the availability and enough access to care during pregnancy, childbirth, and postnatal services.
WRAI was launched in 1999 when the Center for Catalyzing Change (formerly known as CEDPA), brought together a group of individuals and organisations to advocate for safe motherhood in India.
Every year the members of WRAI select a nationwide advocacy theme to celebrate NSMD. The theme of 2019 NSMD is “Midwives for Mothers”.
According to WRAI, India is one of the most high-risk places in the world to give birth, accounting for 15 percent of total maternal deaths worldwide. Annually, over 44,000 women die in India of maternal causes, despite over 80 percent delivering in health facilities. However, these deaths are preventable, if quality care is provided at the earliest.
WRAI has been instrumental in providing life-saving treatments, for women in India’s villages.
This day also seeks to create awareness about reducing anaemia among women.
In wake of NSMD the government of India has strengthened implementation of Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojna (IGMSY) maternity benefit scheme.
This day also promotes the prevention of child marriages because child marriage is an indirect cause of maternal deaths which is still prevalent in the remote areas of the country.
According to WHO women maternal mortality rate is higher in rural areas and among poorer communities.
According to WHO the maternal mortality worldwide dropped by about 44 percent in between 1990 and 2015.
As part of the sustainable development goals until 2030, the target of WHO is to reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 1, 00,000 live births.
In India, the national average of maternal mortality has declined by 17 percent according to the 2011 census. The government now wants to achieve the millennium development goal of reducing maternal mortality rate in the near future.
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