What is India doing wrong? India has a booming economy and has so why are so many women and babies still dying in child birth?
A Harvard School of Public Health Study from 2010 found that by the year 2015 we could prevent 150, 000 childbirth related deaths in India. These lives could be saved if women were given access to family planning advice before pregnancy and if they were given a higher standard of care by trained professionals during pregnancy, during delivery and postnatally.
A report from Save the Children states that nearly half of births are not attended by a trained health professional. It also showed in the results of their survey of 80 developing countries, that India was ranked as the fourth most dangerous place to give birth.
While efforts have been made to increase the number of deliveries which take place in healthcare institutions and other more safe environments with attending physicians these measure do not appear to be impacting on society as a whole.
India is an enormous country, divided by class, culture, wealth and religion so the issue here is not purely monetary. Even larger government or charity initiatives struggle to reach the more remote villages and even if they do there are times when clashes surrounding the traditions of childbirth block the way for positive change.
Surely the key is to work in smaller communities to understand their individual needs and move forward in a way which will practically improve these mortality rates.
There are those organisations which are aiming for this by arranging free services such as transportation to and from hospitals for expectant mothers, free drugs and food and access to sanitary blood transfusions. Again though, these seemingly well intentioned projects are still failing to filter through to the villages where the help is so desperately needed.
How cruel this word can be that by the pure lottery of birth most of us will survive and thrive and yet there are still places in this world where life is not a birthright.
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