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Indian Health Care Needs to Focus on Its Women and Children to Be More Effective

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About five women in India die every hour from childbirth related complications, substantial postpartum blood loss being the top-most among them. This data comes from a country where 34 kids are born every minute, and over 300 million people struggle for a basic health cover.


Maternal and Neonatal Deaths in India

The World Bank Data of 2015 puts Indian maternal mortality rate (MMR) at 174 for 100,000 live births. While the MMR was 215 in 2010 and can be seen declining in the country as well as globally, India stands a long way from USA’s 14 or Canada’s 7 maternal mortalities per 100,000 cases.

MMR or Maternal mortality ratio is the number of expecting mothers who die because of complications throughout pregnancy or within forty-two days of termination of pregnancy. World’s Mothers Report 2013 ranked India at the 142nd position from a total of 176 countries based on maternal & children’s health and the economic, political, and educational status of women.

The infant mortality rates or IMR have also reduced in India. The number of babies that perished before their first birth anniversary came down from 44 (2011) to 38(2015.)

Those Who Live Have a Hard Time

While the numbers of maternal deaths are evident, few know about the sad reality of the women who live after delivering their baby. For every death in childbirth, about 20 women live and suffer from weakening, chronic diseases. Their health deteriorates to an alarming low point. It affects the women, their children, and their families.

India is home to many detrimental customs. Girls in rural, uneducated, and ignorant areas get married at an early age. 40% girls are married off before they reach the age of 18. They conceive early as well as too frequently than is healthy. Younger pregnancies are often riskier too.

The Global Hunger Index of 2015 ranked India as the 20th leading country among others with a severe hunger issue. About a third of Indian women are either malnourished, have anaemia, or aren’t psychologically prepared to handle a pregnancy and delivery.

The Government's Initiatives for Mothers and Children

The Indian government has taken up various chances to collaborate with the global agencies and invest in counter measures to diminish the danger to mothers and babies.

Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram scheme or JSKK offers free maternity services to women and their babies. The project keeps track of emergency referral systems, death cases, improvements in health services for women, and unit management. The Indian government also introduced birth attendant courses in 2013 and 2014. Midwives and maternal health doctors were trained under a UNICEF supported program.

The Indian maternity and childcare hospital market is expected to see an annual growth of 38% and a net worth of $27 billion by 2020. With a record number of 24 million smartphone sales last quarter, technology has expanded its reach among the Indian masses. Women have access to information regarding childbirth, marriage, conceiving, and child care.

While It Isn't All Bleak, Indian Healthcare Has a Lot to Improve

With the combination of digital technology, better and more accessible health care services, and a rising wave of the need to be aware, Indian women are becoming more informed, and thus more efficient in taking decisions regarding pregnancies and children. However, the market segment involves many social demographic that remain untouched by awareness and technology to this date.

Ultimately, the number of women Indian government covers under its plans will determine our success as a progressive country with a stable health care system.


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