A STATE-LEVEL meeting of campaign partners supporting the promotion of safe motherhood and raising concern on maternal mortality in Madhya Pradesh was held here on Friday.
More than 60 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) representing network organisations like Madhya Pradesh Voluntary Health Association, Madhya Pradesh Samaj Sewa Sanstha, Madhya Pradesh Jan Adhikar Manch, Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti, Central Regional Board of Health Services, Mahila Chetna Manch, Vikas Samvad, Department of Journalism, Makhan Lal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism shared their concern and outcomes of their efforts with communities and elected representatives.
Inaugurating the meeting, UNICEF Madhya Pradesh office State Representative Hamid El Bashir said civil society organisations should engage communities at a high level to push accountabilities within the system so that better care was delivered to women and children.
He added that Madhya Pradesh contributed to 10 per cent of maternal deaths in the country while India contributed 20 per cent of maternal deaths in the world. He said it was possible to reduce these deaths, but there was a need for sustained commitment to deliver for benefit of women and children in the State.
UNICEF Communication officer Anil Gulati spoke on the need for community empowerment and civil society’s engagement on the issue of women health. He said the media had helped to bring the issue to forefront but there was a need to take this momentum forward.
Makhan Lal Chaturvedi University of Journalism Department of Journalism’s PP Singh about the role of media in women’s health while Sachin Jain of Vikas Samvad stressed on media advocacy efforts in raising issues of women and child health.
Madhya Pradesh Voluntary Health Association’s Manoj Joshi, State Coordinator Jan Adhikar Manch Sandesh Bansal, Central Board of Regional Health Services Dr Sheela Bhambal, Mahila Chetna Manch Deep Damani, and Madhya Pradesh Samaj Sewa Sanstha Father Mathew and Sister Joicy spoke about their efforts in various parts of the State to help bring much needed momentum on the issue of maternal deaths and promoting safe motherhood state wide.
UNICEF Health Officer Dr Narayan Goankar presented the findings of maternal deaths audit in the districts of Guna and Shivpuri. UNICEF Planning officer Veena Bandyopadhyay presented a possible option of setting up of ‘Child Rights Observatory’ in Madhya Pradesh, which could act as a third party for monitoring rights of children and women. Himanshu Sikka of Infrastructure Professional Enterprise also participated in the meeting.