Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: The White Ribbon Alliance, a grassroots movement for safe motherhood, on Friday demanded that the Government and civil society work towards ensuring the women's right to survive childbirth.

At an interactive meeting here between members of the Alliance and the media, Centre for Development and Population Activities executive director Aparajita Gogoi said: “There is a high incidence of anaemia and malnourishment among young mothers with little or no access to child planning. Most of them have to undergo unsafe motherhood and there is a clear need to improve their access to family planning. Lack of political will and agenda, inadequate training of health workers and the poor condition of primary health care centres across the country is responsible for the deplorable condition of young mothers in the country.''

India high on list

According to statistics provided by the Alliance, maternal mortality continues to be very high in India and about 50 per cent of deaths happen because of haemorrhage and sepsis. “While only 40.7 per cent of women in India have an institutionally delivery, 48.2 per cent have their birth assisted by a doctor, nurse or other medical health personnel. A recent survey showed that none of the States in India will achieve the established UN Millennium Development Goals related to maternal mortality rate by 2010-end,'' it said.

“India has to bring about a much more accelerated growth in maternal care services if it is to achieve the Millennium Development Goals,'' added Dr. Gogoi.