Other States

Stay homes to increase institutional deliveries in Sunderbans

With an aim to extend the institutional delivery facility to women in Sunderbans, the West Bengal government has decided to set up stay homes where expecting mothers will be brought from islands of the archipelago at the time of delivery.

“We will set up a centralised facility at Gosaba in the State’s South 24 Parganas district where expecting mothers will be brought from different islands. After delivery the women will be given post natal care before they return home,” Moloy Kumar De, principal secretary department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of West Bengal told The Hindu.

Mr De said that the State government will hand over the functioning of such homes to a non government organisation. Unicef (United Nations Children Fund) has provided technical assistance to the State government to implement the initiative.

Of the 102 islands in Sunderbans archipelago 54 are inhabited and these islands are home to 50 lakh people. The difficult terrain and lack of essential infrastructure and no transport facilities available during evening results in pregnant delivering their babies at home.

More than half of deliveries in Sunderbans are non-institutional deliveries where women end up delivering babies at home with little or no medical help. A study by Indian Institute of Health Management Research ( IIHMR) in 2014 points out that 55 percent babies in Sunderbans are delivered at home and 95 percent of these deliveries are without even a rural medical practice nor. In far flung islands this percentage is higher, experts say.

According to the officials of the health department once the initiative at Gosaba, which is one most densely populated areas of the delta works similar initiatives will be taken up at different places on the delta. Health parameters particularly relating to women and children are a concern in Sunderbans where there are high rates of morbidity and malnutrition.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2021 2:00:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/stay-homes-to-increase-institutional-deliveries-in-sunderbans/article7464735.ece

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