View point - Central Chronicle, Bhopal, Feb 2, 2007
The government of Madhya Pradesh has launched many health schemes with a view to check maternal mortality but without much success. Vijay Raje Bima Yojna, taken up by the state government is unable to reach out to each and every woman of the state. The women who live near by towns and districts get medical benefits while women in far-flung areas are still deprived of the same. On the one hand, the government is promoting women for the institutional deliveries while hospitals at districts and tehsils are facing lack of infrastructure and medical staff on the other. There are only five medical colleges, which bring out a limited doctors against six crore people in Madhya Pradesh. Besides, the medical colleges also suffer from lack of medical teachers. The state government recently extended retiring age from 62 to 65 years for the medical teachers. But it cannot be deemed as permanent solution for the government and people. Students who go in for medical degrees opted-some of them-teaching profession while others become medical practitioners. The state needs more medical colleges to meet the health requirement of the people. However, the government has laid a foundation stone for the construction of a medical college at Sagar that will fulfill the medical need to some extent.
Although the state government has come up with a new idea yet it does not get 100% result, due to many impediments; they can be political, social and geographical. Death rate of women who die during prenatal and postnatal is partly because of poverty. Expectant mothers suffer from anemia and partly due to no hospitals in the vicinity.
However, child and women welfare department of state government has announced nutritious meals schemes to the rural expectant and nursing mothers as well as children of 3 to 6 years. They will be given puri, and mix veg, nutritious mathari, wheat soya barfi, laddus of suji and besan, upama of dal and vegetables, laddus of rice and besan, murmura and chana laddu. Besides, poha khamad, rice and dal chila, soya and rice chakki, chawal ka pura, chana chura and mungphali pati, nutritious poha, bajara-besan laddu, bajara mathrai, khasta vegetable curries and so on would be distributed as nutritious food on the basis of local food model to the beneficiaries on the pattern of mid-day meal in schools. It is moot question as to why women in European countries do not die, due to prenatal and postnatal complications? But India, the maternal mortality rate is so high that cannot be controlled only by agency of medical institutions. From the childhood, girls suffer from malnutrition and while reaching on threshold of adolescence and puberty, they become patients of anemia and at the same time they are married off. The pregnancy period becomes a battle field for them to fight between life and death.
The scheme launched by the government can prove as a short in the arm in health improvement movement if it is implemented by the ground level officials and workers.
The government has entrusted collectors to select the items as per protein and calorie quantity and the food grain would be supplied through self-help groups at local level. It is a drawback for the state government that it launches schemes but do not meet to the target, due to apathetic attitude by the field workers and officials.