Less than a fortnight after a tribal woman in Sagar lost her newborn after she was made to walk between hospitals, a similar case came to light in Sehore, the chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s home district.
On Tuesday-Wednesday night, Manju Bai gave birth to a girl child on the road outside the Sehore district hospital after the Janani Suraksha Express driver allegedly refused to carry her to Bhopal until the couple paid money.
These are some of the long list of incidents that show that all is not well with the healthcare in Madhya Pradesh. The botched-up eye surgeries in Barwani and Sheopur in the last one year exposed the reality of healthcare in the state.
The state government had planned to privatise health services in Alirajpur district by signing a pact with a Gujarat organisation. Last month, medical officers, non-governmental organisation and over a dozen other organisations staged a protest in Bhopal against privatisation of public health services.
Amulya Nidhi, national working group member of Jan Swasthya Abhiyan (JSA), said the move to privatise health services in some districts indicates that the government doesn’t know how to run health services.
“The government has failed to check maternal deaths, which is one of the basic health indicators that tells us about the health of healthcare in the state,” he said.
Sachin Jain, the director of Vikas Samvad, who has analysed the health indicators in the recently released National Family Health Survey-4, said the health sector was suffering from several diseases.
Madhya Pradesh still has the highest IMR in the country, with 54 children per 1000 live births dying before their first birthday. Also, the MMR in the state stands at 221 against 167 per 1,00,000 live births in the country.
“If we want to cure the diseases, we have to address their root causes. There are issues ranging from shortage of doctors, lack of proper primary healthcare infrastructure in rural areas to health indicators like high infant mortality rate (IMR) and maternal mortality rate (MMR) which need to be addressed properly,” he said.
52.5 % women age 15-49 years who are anaemic
68.9 % Children age 6-59 months who are anaemic
53.6 % Children age 12-23 months fully immunised
34.5 % Children under age of 3 breastfed within one hour of birth
42 % Children under 5 years who are stunted (height for age)
25.8 % Children under 5 years who are wasted (weight for height)
42.8 %Children under 5 years who are underweight
11 .4 % Mothers who had full antenatal care