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National Safe Motherhood Day is observed on April 11 every year. It is an initiative of the White Ribbon Alliance India (WRAI). The day is observed to create and increase awareness about the prenatal and postnatal care and requirements of women. India is the first country in the world to have socially declared a National Safe Motherhood Day.
National Safe Motherhood Day History
The government of India declared the National Safe Motherhood day on April 1, 2003. It was done at the request of WRAI (White Ribbon Alliance India) which is an alliance of 1800 organizations. White Ribbon Alliance India was launched in 1999. The government chose this day as it is the birth anniversary of Kasturba Gandhi, wife of Gandhiji.
WRAI wants to ensure that women have availability and adequate access to care during pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal services. “The goal of these annual campaigns is to increase awareness that every woman has a right to live and survive pregnancy and childbirth,” said Dr Meenakshi Deshpande, IMA’s Pune president-elect.
National Safe Motherhood Day 2022 Theme
Every year the members of WRAI select a theme and carry out activities to increase awareness about maternity facilities and proper healthcare for pregnant and lactating women. The goal of these activities organized by WRAI is to increase awareness that every woman has a right to live and survive pregnancy and childbirth. This year’s theme is “Remain at home amid corona virus, protect mother and infant”.
National Safe Motherhood Day 2022 Significance
White Ribbon Alliance decided to observe National Safe Motherhood Day every year with an aim to raise awareness about adequate access to care during pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal period along with a focus on reducing anemia. India accounts for 15 per cent of total maternal deaths worldwide. Even though over 80 per cent of women deliver in health facilities, the death rate is high. “Every year 44,000 women die in India due to improper care during the pregnancy”, said Dr Deshpande.
Safe motherhood means ensuring that all women receive the care they need to be safe and healthy throughout pregnancy and childbirth. According to WRAI, “It is the right of every woman to take good quality nutrition, proper healthcare services during and after pregnancy and childbirth”. It also calls for abolishing child marriages because it may be an indirect cause of maternal deaths.
Facts About Maternal Mortality
- As per World Health Organization, approximately 830 women die every day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.
- 50 to 98 per cent of maternal deaths are caused by direct obstetric causes – hemorrhage, infection, hypertensive disorders, ruptured uterus, hepatitis, and anemia, says the WHO.
- Skilled care before, during and after childbirth can save the lives of women and newborn babies, as per WHO.
- Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) of India for the period 2016 to 2018, as per the latest report of the national Sample Registration System (SRS) data is 113 per 100,000 live births. It has declined by 17 points, from 130 per 100,000 live births in 2014 to 2016.
- Rural areas tend to have greater rate of infant mortality.
National Safe Motherhood Day Initiatives
There have been many national initiatives by the government of India to ensure safe motherhood for women. Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakaram (JSSK) is the most prominent among them. It was launched in 2011 to motivate those who still choose to deliver at their homes to opt for institutional deliveries. Under this initiative, every woman who is pregnant becomes eligible to deliver child in public health institutions for free of cost which also includes cesarean births. Pregnant women are also given free drugs and consumables, free diagnostics, free blood if required, and free diet for three days during normal delivery and seven days for C-section. JSSK also provides free transport from home to institution.
National Safe Motherhood Day 2022 Quotes
- A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world.—Agatha Christie
- Motherhood is a choice you make every day, to put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing even when you’re not sure what the right thing is… and to forgive yourself, over and over again, for doing everything wrong.—Donna Ball
- A mother is she who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take.—Gaspard Mermillod
- Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials.—Meryl Streep
- Some are kissing mothers and some are scolding mothers, but it is love just the same, and most mothers kiss and scold together.—Pearl S. Buck
Motherhood is a significant stage in the life of a women and she deserves the best care and protection during this period. National Safe Motherhood Day aims at making motherhood the most beautiful experience in the life of all the mothers.