New Delhi: Over one crore women have been provided antenatal check-up under the Pradhan Mantri  Surakshit  Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA), aimed at reducing maternal mortality rate (MMR) across the country.

Reducing maternal mortality is one of the key goals of the national health mission. The PMSMA, launched in 2016 with the highest level of political commitment, is a mission in advancing India’s course of achieving sustainable development goals for MMR below 70 by 2030. In this context, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, organised PMSMA “I PLEDGE FOR 9” Achievers Award to felicitate those involved in the mission, in the presence of Minister of Health and Family Welfare Jagat Prakash Nadda and other senior government representatives.

Besides Nadda, others who were present on the occasion were Ministers of state for health and family welfare Ashwini Kumar Choubey and Anupriya Patel, and Health Secretary Preeti Sudan. They spoke about their success in decline in MMR. About 1.3 crore women were provided antenatal check-ups , while 6.5 lakh high risk pregnancies were detected under the scheme in the last 23 months. Over 5,000 doctors are registered with this programme. An amount of Rs 14,000 crore has been given by the government in this scheme. It was a proud moment for them to get award for doing such a commendable work for a good cause for the people.

Delivering his address, Nadda said: “Visibility is not easy. Health activists understand it. What matters is our vision, planning and its impact.” He also said that every work has its strength as well as weakness. “Our strength is whatever work we did became the largest programme in the world and as far as weakness is concerned, our work is full of sensitivity. If one case is mishandled, it will be a great loss for us. We have a huge responsibility on our shoulders and we take care that everything should be up to the mark in future.”

Experts were of the view that if each and every pregnant woman in India is examined by a medical officer and appropriately investigated at least once during the PMSMA, this can play a critical and crucial role in reducing the number of maternal deaths in our country. Implemented well, it can prove to be a game-changer and a stepping stone for achievement of the sustainable development goal.

Dignitaries shared their views and experiences on this occasion. According to them, it was an unbelievable journey. “It’s a day to feel proud to be an Indian. Reduction in MMR is very tough. Without the involvement of the private sector, nothing can work. We salute the doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers who had worked so hard. High BP, diabetics, anaemia, haemoglobin tests are done free of cost. Iron and calcium supplements are also given free of cost to women. Right from the day the mother conceives, pre-pregnancy, post pregnancy and when the child is of one year, all care is taken by us and that is free of cost,” said an official.

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