National Safe Motherhood Day (NSMD)

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Are you aware of National Safe Motherhood Day? Do you know that India celebrates April 11 as National Safe Motherhood Day every year? If the answer is ‘No’, read on. 

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You must have heard of Mother’s Day, Women’s Day etc., which are celebrated on the International platform. However, are you aware of National Safe Motherhood Day celebrated in India on April 11 every year to mark the birth anniversary of Kasturba Gandhi, the political advocate of India and wife of Mahatma Gandhi.

Most of us might not be aware of National Safe Motherhood Day. So, let’s get some details about this day.

>>Buy Health Insurance with Maternity Cover 

What is a National Safe Motherhood Day (NSMD)?

National Safe Motherhood Day or NSMD in short is celebrated in India as a day to create awareness about the maternity and other healthcare facilities provided to mothers who are either expecting or lactating. It was in the year 2013 that the Government declared April 11 as the National Safe Motherhood Day to be celebrated every year to mark the birth anniversary of Kasturba Gandhi.

When was National Safe Motherhood Day (NSMD) first initiated?

Since 2013, 11 April has been celebrated to create awareness among people about safe motherhood day and about the development of women and children in the country. This is done by means of varied campaigns to ensure that every woman in India gets the required care and nourishment during pregnancy and childbirth for her own safety and health as well as for the health of the child.

Also Read: Is Health Insurance Important for Women?

Who is behind the National Safe Motherhood Day initiative?

It is quite fascinating to know that our country is the first ever nation in the entire world to declare a National Safe Motherhood Day officially. Also known as Matru Suraksha Din in Hindi, it was White Ribbon Alliance India (WRAI) who initiated the NSMD to emphasize on the fact that every woman in the country should have enough access to care throughout their pregnancy and through the period of childbirth and postnatal, when women need most care and concern.

Several NGOs along with the government of India have been working together by sharing various resources and technical know-how to make this day a huge success so that the essence of the National Motherhood Day can be realized to the core and more means of spreading awareness could be generated along with campaigns.

How did the NSMD initiative start?

It was WRAI who advocated Safe Motherhood in India by bringing together various organizations and individuals. The occasion is celebrated every year with a new theme that was selected with nationwide advocacy.  ‘Midwives for Mothers’ was the theme for 2019.

As per WRAI, 15 % of deaths across the world due to maternal causes takes place in India with over 44,000 women dying every year. This is despite the fact that almost 80 % of the women deliver their babies in hospitals and other health facilities. Further, the organization is of the view that with proper care and good facilities the maternal causes of death could be avoided.

How can Safety of Mothers be Enhanced?

With the above information, it is evident that the safety of mothers or would-be mothers needs attention in India. Organizations like WRAI are actively working towards offering treatments to save the lives of women, especially in the rural areas of India. Anaemia is a common issue that women in India suffer from, which they are seeking to create awareness about.

The government of India has also worked in this regard on account of NSMD by means of various schemes and initiatives such as Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojna (IGMSY) – a maternity benefit scheme – to enhance the health of women.

Also, there are many government schemes and health policies that are made available by the government to ensure pocket friendly health schemes to the rural population including rural women.

Some of the other government health schemes in India include;

  • Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan
  • Pradhan Mantri Matritva Vandana Yojan
  • Janani Suraksha Yojana, etc.

Conclusion 

NSMD also works towards preventing child marriages which is still common in many remote areas in India and which is indirectly related to the increasing mortality rate due to maternal causes.

The World Health Organization (WHO) specifies that the rate of maternal mortality is greater among poor people and rural areas, who are ignorant about the safe health practices of expecting mothers and about healthcare facilities.  WHO also specified that the rate of maternal mortality globally has gone down by over 44 % during 1990 to 2015.

Even in India, the rate of maternal mortality has dropped by over 17 % as per 2011 census and the government of India is working towards achieving the goal of further lowering this rate in the coming future.

This year, the theme of the National Safe Motherhood Day 2022 is “Remain at home amid coronavirus, protect mother and infant safe from coronavirus”

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Gayatri Prabhu, Head-Digital Business at Mahindra Insurance Brokers Limited (MIBL) is one those few digital leaders who has the width and depth that is required to execute an ROI driven holistic digital strategy. She cuts through the noise, identifies the critical levers and leads her team to successful execution of the defined strategy. Her core mantra to win new and retain existing customers is: understand the consumer behavior and craft experiences around it.

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