June 20, 2012

Monitoring Free Maternal Health Services in Uttar Pradesh

NAMHHR Founder member Health Watch Forum (HWF), Uttar Pradesh is a network of voluntary organizations and individuals working on reproductive health and rights issues.  On the occasion of International Day of Action for Women’s Health on 28th May 2012, HWF in collaboration with a grassroot womens' Forum named Mahila Swasthya Adhikar Manch (MSAM) organised a state level advocacy dialogue with the NRHM  mission director and other state level health officials. The MSAM is a unique Forum of 11,000 poor, rural and marginalized women spread across 10 districts of Uttar Pradesh and is committed to monitoring and advocating for Women’s rights to health.

The event was organized to present the data collected by MSAM women through a village level survey in 188 revenue villages of 18 blocks of 10 districts, to assess 370 women’s experiences of accessing free maternal health services in Government hospitals (please read the detailed report on http://sahayogindia.org/new1/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/MSAM-Report-of-free-MH-services-in-11-dists-UP-2012.pdf ).  The results of this survey were presented before the panelists which included Chief Guest Shri Mukesh Kumar Meshram, Mission Director NRHM UP, and special guests Ms. Sunita Aron, Resident Editor Hindustan Times, Ms. Arundhati Dhuru, Social Activist,Shri Hari Om Dixit, SPMU NRHM UP, Shri Amod Kumar, Mission Director of Manthan Project and Ms. Jashodhara Dasgupta, Coordinator, SAHAYOG Lucknow.

The Mission Director of NRHM, Mr. Meshram showed interest in the key findings of the survey and felt that strong actions needs to be taken to improve the status of the marginalized women in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Also, he appreciated SAHAYOG 's project Meri Swasthya Meri Awaz which uses mobile phones to track out-of-pocket expenses and informal fees incurred accessing free maternal health services by the women in the districts of Mirzapur and Azamgarh(to learn more please click here-http://meraswasthyameriaawaz.org/).  He felt that this was an excellent way of promoting accountability and expressed an interest in linking this site with the official NRHM website and extending it to other district of the state.

The event was attended by nearly 100 MSAM women and local allies. Representatives of NAMHHR Secretariat Y.K.Sandhya and Aditi Sood attended the event

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