One crore antenatal checkups conducted under Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA)

The Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA) has been successful in reaching the one crore antenatal checkup mark after it was introduced in July 2016. Out of these, close to 25 lakh checkups have been conducted in high priority districts identified by the health ministry. This has played a key role in ensuring that expecting mothers receive medical checkups on 9th of every month as planned under the program. Medical care prior to childbirth can help in bringing down MMR (maternal mortality rate), a key index used to evaluate healthcare services in a country.

What is PMSMA?

PMSMA aims to provide quality antenatal care, free of cost, to all pregnant women on the 9th of every month. It also aims to provide antenatal services for expecting mothers in their 2nd /3rd trimesters at designated government health centres.

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Pregnant women are provided MCP (Maternal and Child Protection) card to monitor their health. One of the critical components of PMSMA is to identify risky pregnancies and pay special attention to those women. A sticker indicating the risk would be pasted on the MCP for each visit (red for risky pregnancies and green for normal pregnancies). About 5.5 lakh risky pregnancies were identified under the program.

Another innovative aspect of this program is the engagement of private sector through IPledge49 campaign which encourages private practitioners to volunteer for the cause. The prime minister had requested private practitioners to provide free health checkups to pregnant women on 9th of every month through his Mann Ki Baat program on July 31 2016. To motivate volunteer ‘IPledgeFor9’ Achievers Awards  at district state and national levels have also been instituted to honor the volunteers.

Achievements of PMSMA 

The PM’s request and awards has paid rich dividends as per the statistics put out on a PIB release.

More than 4,800 private sector doctors have pledged to provide voluntary service under PMSMA. More than 385 private sector volunteers have provided services in the high priority districts such as Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh. Several of these volunteers have provided free services at nearby government health facilities more than 10 times in the past months.

In addition to this, the PIB release lauded Dr Pooja Upadhyay, a well-known gynecologist of Raipur who turned down the travel support offered by the government and instead, traveled all the way to Narayanpur, a remote left-wing affected district at her own expense to provide services under PMSMA.

In addition to this , the PIB release put out the details of maternal care services provided under the program at designated government healthcare centres so far.

In order to enable early detection of high risk pregnancies, 84 lakh haemoglobin tests, 55 lakh HIV tests, 41 lakh tests for gestational diabetes, 33 lakh tests for syphilis and more than 15 lakh ultrasounds have been conducted under the programme based on the individual requirements of pregnant women.

PMSMA is contributing in a big way to reduce preventable maternal death with the help of private sector and active participation of the public sector. The program is also a fine example of how charismatic leadership can lead to positive social change in the country.

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