Achieving Millennium Development Goal 5: is India serious?
Dileep Mavalankar a, Kranti Vora a, M Prakasamma b
Absence of comprehensive maternal care services
With the change in the role of ANMs and programme priorities, comprehensive services have been neglected. Not only delivery care but antenatal and postnatal care are also neglected. The National Family Health Survey (2006) shows that only 52% of women receive three antenatal contacts and 42% receive any postnatal care.9 Abortion and birth-spacing services are receiving less attention lately. All of this has a major impact on maternal health indicators.In spite of rhetoric from the National Rural Health Mission, changes on the ground to improve maternal health care are slow and lack focus. We feel strongly that without a clear strategic focus on skilled birth attendance, EmOC and referral services, India will not be able to reduce maternal mortality rapidly. There is a need to provide comprehensive maternal health services, including antenatal care, delivery care, EmOC and postnatal care, within an efficient health system. The extent of the increase in political priority, managerial capacity and resource allocation will determine, if and when, India will be able to meet MDG 5.