The Bhiwandi Nizampur Municipal Corporation (BNMC) in Maharashtra has decided not to allow pregnant women to deliver at home due to lack of adequate health facilities, making institutional deliveries compulsory, an official said on Sunday.
The civic body's health officer Dr K R Kharat said that it has been observed many times that deliveries at home in slums and rural areas lead to the death of the pregnant woman and the child.
Around 12,000 to 13,000 deliveries are recorded in Bhiwandi town in a year, out of which 3,000 to 4,000 are non-institutional. As these deliveries at home are carried out by midwives, women and children do not get proper health facilities. Dr K R Kharat said.
For facilitating better healthcare services to pregnant women, the Bhiwandi Nizammpur Municipal Commissioner Dr Pankaj Ashiya has decided to implement the 'Arogya Sakhi' programme compulsorily.
The Arogya Sakhi programme, started by the civic body, would work towards training women health entrepreneurs (Arogya Sakhis) from communities.
The trained women or Arogya Sakhis would look after pregnant women in rural areas and perform several important roles.
Under the programme, it would be mandatory for deliveries to be conducted at government or civic hospitals, The Hindustan Times reported.
At present, there are 15 civic-run health centres in the Bhiwandi Nizampur municipal limits, Dr Kharat informed.
The 'Arogya Sakhis' will provide home-based preventive care, perform diagnostic tests and screen for high-risk factors in expecting mothers and ensure early referral during antenatal and infancy period.
Kharat said that the civic body will soon appoint 20 'Arogya Sakhis' in every health centre of BNMC for implementation of institutional deliveries programme.
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