Friday, April 06, 2007

MP Convention on safemotherhood

The Hindu, Staff Correspondent

- Govt. to address women, child-related issues with urgency

- Meeting organised along with UNICEF to make the rural women aware of various schemes
`Govt. is determined to ensure that not a single woman dies due to delivery related complications'

Majhauli (Madhya Pradesh): Thousands of women braved the afternoon sun on Sunday and attended a huge women's convention organised here by the Madhya Pradesh Department of Public Health and Family Welfare and UNICEF to make the rural women aware of various schemes aimed at addressing the problem of maternal and infant mortality and other women and child related issues.

Addressing the convention on safe motherhood at this development block in Jabalpur district, the State health Minister, Ajay Vishnoi said that it is very important to save the life of every woman and child. He said that the State Government is determined to ensure that not a single woman died due to delivery related complications. The Government is committed and policies were being implemented with total urgency for the benefit of every mother and child in the State, he added. The women attending the convention clapped in approval when the Minister informed them about the incentives being given to women in Madhya Pradesh to promote institutionalised delivery and schemes like Bal Shakti and Ladli Lakshmi Yojna. Speaking on this occasion, UNICEF's State Representative, Hamid El-Bashir said that his organization would always work closely with the State Health Administration and other Government departments. He went on to observe: "We are proud of this partnership and were prepared to take it further". He added, "We are ready to work with every agency and organization tackling women and child related issues on priority". He also advised the women to raise their demands saying: "We are ready to listen" and further said: "We want to ensure that maternal and infant mortality is reduced in Madhya Pradesh. We also want to reduce levels of malnutrition and anaemia among infants, girls and women."

The State Director Public Health and Family Welfare, Yogiraj Sharma said in his speech that maternal mortality is very high in Madhya Pradesh and every hour one mother dies in the State. He said that every one was responsible for this grim scenario and that women would have to come forward and take the benefits of various schemes being implemented by the Government for their welfare, particularly the incentives being offered for institutionalised delivery. The Jabalpur Collector, Sanjay Dubey emphasised that all steps should be taken to protect the newly born and to combat the problem of infant mortality. He said that children should be protected from malnutrition and women should not be allowed to go through pregnancy related complications.

Ms. Alka Vishnoi, the State Health Minister' wife set the tone for the women's convention named as the "Saas-Bahu Sammelan" (convention of mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law).

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