Kolkata: The death of a woman during pregnancy, at delivery, or soon after delivery is a tragedy for her family and for society as a whole. Sadly, about 700 women die each year in the United States as a result of pregnancy or delivery complications. When in Bengal maternal mortality ratio reduced to 27 per cent, from 41 per cent, facts acknowledged and appreciated by the Union Health Ministry.
A pregnancy-related death is defined as the death of a woman during pregnancy or within one year of the end of pregnancy from a pregnancy complication, a chain of events initiated by pregnancy, or the aggravation of an unrelated condition by the physiologic effects of pregnancy.
This time West Bengal Govt adding an extra-ordinarily feather in their hat as ‘Waiting Huts’ or ‘pre Delivery Huts’ – the concept is being run successfully in Bengal. In the concept, there are some facilities included as resident medical facilities, including adequate diets, available free of cost to pregnant women living in far-flung rural areas, to enable institutional deliveries – that has been proposed to be made a national model by the Committee on the Empowerment of Women, a parliamentary committee for women’s issues, in a report, titled ‘Women’s Healthcare: Policy Options’.
To bring relief to women for whom it is too long a distance to cover to reach health centers to enable institutional delivery of babies, and whose families are often too poor to pay for hiring vehicles to bring expectant mothers. In view of the latter issue, the Huts are equipped to keep pregnant women for observation and total care for seven to 10 days prior to the expected dates of delivery. The concept was developed by the Trinamool Congress-led Bengal Government.
The concept has been successfully implemented by the Bengal Government in remote areas in the Sundarbans – like Sandeshkhali and Gosaba – and in other regions. Each Waiting Hut is equipped with the necessary infrastructure and personnel (doctors and nurses), who are available round-the-clock, for the safe delivery of babies. They have been in existence since early 2016.
Likewise, the Committee report has proposed Pre-Delivery Hubs near hospitals, where pregnant women can stay for around a week before their due dates, to help reduce travel time and maternal deaths during childbirth.