Despite increased health facilities in Rajasthan, even today one mother dies every two hours in the desert state due to delivery or delivery-related complications.
Every year, 4,600 mothers die while delivering a baby in Rajasthan, revealed a study by NGO Save the Children.
The NGO has demanded the government to address the loopholes in the primary health centres (PHCs) and sub-centres (SCs), so that pregnant women can deliver the child here instead of going to community health centres (CHCs) and district hospitals.
Save the Children state health and programme coordinator OP Singh said that on a survey conducted by the NGO on the situation of motherhood facilities, India ranked 137 out of 178 countries surveyed. In India, every 20 seconds a child dies due to diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhoea or malnutrition.
The data of the state on safe motherhood is worrying. Singh said the state government made efforts to stop maternal mortality in rural areas, but only in about 7% of a total of 11,494 SCs do over three deliveries take place in a month. Similarly, only in 43.9% of the 1,100 24-hour PHCs do over 10 deliveries take place in a month. The figure is the same for about 3.3% of the 417 PHCs. The remaining health centres are grossly under-utilised.
Singh said the government should look into these PHCs and SCs and plug in the lacunas so that maximum deliveries take place here and pregnant women do not need to go to the community health centres or district hospitals.
He said that due to the lack of facilities in PHCs and sub-centres, pregnant women go to CHCs and district hospitals, and as the result, the patient load increases and proper care is not extended.
According to the Annual Health Survey 2012-13, the maternal mortality rate (MMR) in Rajasthan has reduced by 37% from 331 to 208 per 1 lakh live births from 2010-11. However, there is still a long way to go to reduce the MMR, the official added.
Save the Children advocacy and campaign coordinator Hemant Acharya said awareness is to be brought in rural areas about safe motherhood by launching a special campaign. He suggested that special schemes should be introduced to motivate and encourage health workers in rural areas.