District-level Delivery Task Force constituted for the purpose

The number of deliveries at Kalveerampalayam Primary Health Centre (PHC) in the district has increased by more than three-fold in the past three months following the implementation of a pilot project by the Department of Public Health.

From seven in December 2012, the number rose to 11 in January and touched 24 in March 2013.

Deputy Director of Public Health R. Damodharan told The Hindu here on Sunday that following a decline in the number of deliveries in government health institutions, a trend witnessed across the State, a district-level Delivery Task Force was constituted to address the issue.

The task force analysed the reasons for pregnant women going to private hospitals for delivery. It instructed the PHC staff to follow the Expected Date of Delivery for pregnant women in their region. A team comprising medical officers and nurses visited them and highlighted the modern infrastructure created in PHCs under the National Rural Health Mission and the incentives offered by the government.

The incentives included a free pick-up by a well-equipped GVK EMRI ‘108’ emergency ambulance service and drop-back facility under Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram, a Centre-sponsored scheme.

Further, maternity picnics were also arranged at the PHC level with the help of local body leaders, anganwadi workers and self-help groups to increase the pregnant women’s confidence in the PHCs.

As a result of these initiatives, Coimbatore district had gone up to the 23 rank in deliveries out of 43 health unit divisions in March when compared to the 26 rank in December 2012 as per Institutional Service Monitoring Registry.

While the average number of deliveries per PHC was eight in 2012 in Coimbatore, the figure had risen to over 10 at present. For the district as a whole, the total deliveries in the 47 PHCs in Coimbatore had increased from 372 in December 2012 to 484 in this March, he said.

Besides increasing man power, Dr. Damodharan said that the infrastructure had been improved at Mudis Nagar, Top Slip, and Velliankadu PHCs.

Other measures include improving further the operation theatres, blood storage facilities, ultrasonogram, and posting women medical officers.

In 2012, the State average deliveries per PHC went down from 14 a month for the period between January and June to 12 a month in the second half of the year.

Tamil Nadu has 1,680 PHCs at an average of one per every 30,000 population.