Maternal, child healthcare delivery still poor in Nagaland
Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, June 30: Nagaland has the second highest fertility rate in the country, according to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) but the healthcare data of mother and children cut a sorry figure.
According to the data provided in the official chief minister dashboard, under the Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) programme the total number of pregnant women in the state is 5587 as of June 27, 2019. Out of this, only 1127 (20.17%) women are registered under this programme. The estimated number of children is 4861 out of which only 1286 (26.46%) have been registered.
This is a poor indicator of the immunisation coverage of mother and child under the RCH in Nagaland. The RCH, which was launched in 1997, is a programme under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare aimed at providing regular immunisation to reduce both infant and maternal mortality rate while also providing healthcare assistance and cash benefits.
According to data from NFHS phase 4 conducted in 20015-16, Nagaland was second highest in the country in terms of fertility rate at 2.7 with Uttar Pradesh in first place at 2.8. The key indicators from the findings showed that Nagaland had 32.8% of institutional births where it was found that 23.9% of women (age 15-49) were anaemic. Only 35.7% of children between the ages of 12-23 months were fully immunised.
The data for Nagaland also showed that children below 5 years were 16.8% underweight and 21.6% of children between 6 to 59 months were found to be anaemic. The data states that a significant influence of non-health determinants such as education, income level, access to water, sanitation and nutrition, clean fuel, etc., affected the health status.
Although many RCH outreach camps have been conducted in various districts this year where mothers have been given free antenatal care (ANC), medicines and various treatments, many mothers are still unaware of the benefits of this programme.
The Janani Suraksha Yojana is one such scheme under the RCH, which was launched in the state with the aim to reduce maternal and infant mortality rate and integrate cash assistance with ANC during pregnancy, institutional delivery and post partum period.
According to the department of Health and Family Welfare, mothers from rural areas get an entitlement of INR 700, and INR 600 for urban areas. The scheme also provides performance-based incentives to women health volunteers known as Asha (Accredited Social Health Activist) for promoting institutional delivery among pregnant women.
According to details of State Programme Implementation Plan (SPIP) funds from the National Health Mission (NHM), Nagaland was approved a provision sum of INR 166.11 lakh out of which INR 135.36 lakh were expended for the year 2018-19.
The total number of beneficiaries was stated to be 12,139 in 2018-19.
Another scheme for expecting mothers is the Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakaram (JSSK) where free and cashless services are provided to pregnant women during deliveries and treatment of ailing newborn up to 30 days after birth.
Other schemes for mothers and childcare that have been launched in Nagaland include the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA) and Mother’s Absolute Affection (MAA).