Surviving Childbirth Is Not Enough And Overall Well-Being Is Important: WHO

surviving childbirth is not enough for women

The landscape of healthcare is changing. In the current scenario, the focus is more on the overall well-being of women and children. So, surviving childbirth is not just the thing to be considered.

Dr. Khetrapal Singh, WHO South-East Asia’s Regional Director, addresses the need for a transformation in approaching healthcare.

With changing priorities and adherence to evolved WHO guidelines, this approach is expected to be a landmark or paradigm shift in healthcare strategies.

WHO conducted a four-day regional meeting to bring the key persons about healthcare for women, children, and infants. National and subnational program managers, officials from WHO, partnering agencies, collaborating centers of WHO, and experts came together to discuss and advocate the need for change.

The theme of the meeting was ‘Sustain, Accelerate, and Innovate strategies.’ All gathered in the meeting to assess the present healthcare scenario and develop new strategies in view of the current condition.

The findings of the current situation were not satisfactory, to say the least.

  • Only 65% of women have access to post-natal care within 2 days of delivering the child.
  • Just 55% of children suffering from diarrhea get oral rehydration salt.
  • Only 64% of children who are likely to get affected by pneumonia get support from a healthcare provider.
  • And the most alarming thing is that data on the” implementation of newborn care practices like skin-to-skin touch” is not adequate.

So, despite the best efforts and improvements in Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH), there is a long way ahead to ensure overall thriving for mothers and newborn children.

However, one cannot deny maternal mortality has dropped in the South-Asian region. Since 2014, seven countries in the region have been able to bring the maternal mortality rate down to less than 140 deaths in every 10,000 live births. Five of these countries have further recorded less than 25 maternal deaths in every 10,000 live births.

Now, the commitment of the WHO South-East Asia region is to create a “universal healthcare approach.” It means access to “affordable and equitable” healthcare for everyone. It is very much in line with what Dr. Singh said. She advocated, “The focus is on ensuring that women and children not only survive childbirth but thrive in terms of health and well-being.”

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