Study mirrors health plan execution gaps

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  • Published 11.10.12

Patna, Oct. 10: The household health survey conducted by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, along with Bihar State Health Society and BBC-Media Action, painted a sorry picture of implementation of various health programmes for women and children.

The survey revealed gaps in care and practices across the continuum of care (a woman’s pregnancy to breastfeeding period). Several women do not go for adequate antenatal check-ups. Although 62 per cent women deliver at hospitals, the care at the facilities is inadequate.

The survey, Ananya Baseline, was carried out in eight districts. Women and children, and frontline workers such as accredited social health activists, anganwadi workers and auxiliary nurse midwives were quizzed during the study.

Health secretary and executive director of Bihar State Health Society Sanjay Kumar said: “The findings indicate critical gaps and to bridge them the department will disseminate information at grassroots level. Efforts will be made to develop a mechanism so that it reaches the grassroots.”

The health department will release the report tomorrow. Representatives from the health department, and officials from the other two agencies would be present.

According to the findings, the women’s interaction with frontline workers is insufficient in the state. Around 45 per cent of the respondents claimed that frontline workers never visited them in the final trimester of their pregnancy period. The survey revealed that many did not receive adeq uate antenatal care and less than 25 per cent sought treatment for maternal danger signs, including complications during pregnancy like prolonged labour, excessive bleeding, convulsions, swelling, fever and vaginal discharge.

Half the women surveyed preferred delivery at public facilities (government hospitals), while around 38 per cent were for delivery at private hospital. Sixteen per cent prefer to deliver at home.

Women still do not rely on accredited social health activists — the first port of call for any health-related demands of deprived sections of the population — during their pregnancy period. Only 10 per cent of the women surveyed got assistance from them.

Around 73 per cent of the women surveyed said they did not use any modern contraceptive methods over a period of six months. Only 80 per cent knew about the incentives of Janani Suraksha Yojana — the central programme aimed at reducing maternal and infant mortality rates and increasing institutional deliveries in below poverty line families.