November 02, 2012

Chronicles of Deaths Foretold

NAMHHR organised an Advocacy Seminar titled- CHRONICLES OF DEATHS FORETOLD- Using Maternal Death Reviews to prevent maternal mortality and morbidity in India, 9th October 2012 in New Delhi where civil society activists from 12 states came together on a common platform to have a dialogue with the government and technical experts. The Dialogue brought together senior officials from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, technical agencies like WHO, UNFPA, UNICEF and donors. 

Civil society members from 8 states across India who have been documenting maternal deaths and studying the causes presented their findings in the seminar. The documentation of maternal deaths in these states raised important questions relevant to the prevention of maternal mortality and morbidity in India. Health activists also presented their recommendations to representatives from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, calling for greater attention to home births to make them safer; greater monitoring of the Continuum of Care instead of only JSY; and a systematic process of conducting Maternal Death Review in all states, with a publishing of what learning has been gained from these reviews.

In response to the presentations and recommendations, Dr. Manisha Malhotra, Deputy Commissioner Maternal Health, GOI Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, chair of the session, shared that “ the time had come for civil society and the government to work together to promote quality maternal health services in the country.” She sought civil society collaboration to conduct Maternal Death Reviews in the community to track those incidents that fail to get recorded officially. The event received favourable coverage in the media. 

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