UNI release at www.netindia123.com Bhopal, December 18, 2006 9:40:27 PM IST
Women participants from various districts of Madhya Pradesh today called for a 'Right to Safe Motherhood' during a convention being organised here by the Madhya Pradesh Voluntary Health Association (MPVHA) on the theme of maternal mortality.
More than 150 women from Chhatarpur, Sidhi, Satna, Panna, Khargone, Indore, Jabalpur, Dhar, Bhopal, Mandsaur, Jhabua and other districts are taking part, a release said. ''Mobilised communities can make the system work and it is time we come together and channelise our energy for decreasing maternal death,'' said MPVHA Executive Director Mukesh Sinha.
Speaking as a guest, UNICEF State Representative Hamid El Bashir said that it is imperative for Madhya Pradesh to move resolutely from the realm of words to the realm of concrete action, which could help bring about a positive change in the lives of women at village level.
''Safe motherhood is a human rights issue. Though this state's Maternal Mortality Ratio has declined it is still very high and Madhya Pradesh figures among six states that have the maximum number of maternal deaths in the country,'' he added.
Mr Bashir felt that the state needed to invest in infrastructure, upgrade health centres, increase the number of blood banks and help build capacity of human resource. UNICEF's Project Officer (Health) Ramani Atkuri spoke on the technical aspects of maternal mortality and interacted with the women on the problems they faced at the village level. UNICEF Communication Officer Anil Gulati, Dr Ajay Khare of the People's Health Movement and MPVHA President B K Nilosey also spoke.
The women posed several questions such as unavailability of health services, lack of awareness about schemes, lack of proper information on problems, untrained midwives, poor roads, anaemia, malaria etc, the release added.