Monday, October 22, 2007

Fategarh health centre in Guna, MP helps save lives

Anil Gulati

Through UNICEF’s support, this primary healthcare centre has become a round the clock maternal and childcare service delivery centre. The Fategarh model has inspired and has been replicated in six more institutions in Guna.

PRIMARY HEALTH CENTRE, Fategarh village, District Guna, Madhya Pradesh, India: Fategarh is a panchayat village about two hours drive on make shift road from the district headquarters of Guna. The panchayat village lies in Madhya Pradesh but borders districts of Rajasthan, an Indian state.

The village has a sector sub health centre. Ninty deliveries, took place in this health centre, in June 2007, almost all of them are from this nearby villages. This was not the case a year and half before (before December 4, 2006, the day when this centre was revitalised). Before this date, all deliveries used to happen at home and there were number of maternal deaths in the area, which was revealed by Maternal and Prenatal Death Inquiry and Response or the social audit of maternal deaths in the Bamori block, which includes Fategarh panchayat.

Before December 2006, the centre offered only immunisation services like any other sub health centre in the state. Heath facilities like labour room facility for pregnant women of Fategarh and nearby villages was quite far and accessibility to health services was an issue. This was one of the reasons for maternal deaths in the area. It is here that UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) came in and supported the District administration of Guna, Madhya Pradesh, to help make this centre a round the clock mother and child care service delivery centre. UNICEF not only supported the district by providing them with skilled birth attendants, but also trained them in integrated management of newborn and childhood illness.

The centre, as of now, caters for eleven villages. Niranjana and Kamlsa, auxiliary nurses midwives at the centre feel elated when they see the progress, but they sometimes get exhausted when they have to undertake seven to eight deliveries a day; thanks to the increased awareness and schemes by the state.

The centre also undertakes awareness programmes in remote areas and shares information on various schemes, like Janani Suraksha Yojana, initiated by the state government to promote institutional delivery with the community members. This has helped in creating awareness and demand for the need of the institutional deliveries.

“I felt much protected and secure when I came here for my delivery” says Shravani, a mother of three. Her first two deliveries were at home, but for the third one the village ‘dai’ got her to the sub health centre.

Dr Hamid El Bashir, State Representative, UNICEF office for Madhya Pradesh, adds that children and women’ lives can be saved and this can happen with improvement in both access and quality of health services through such interventions. Fategarh model of revitalisation of the sub centre to provide basic health care services, including conducting deliveries, has inspired and has been replicated in six more institutions in Guna.

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