Guwahati, April 25: To provide quality maternal care in Assam which has the highest Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR), the Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI) has launched an initiative 'Manyata' to train health care staff by leveraging digital platforms.
The initiative is aimed to train healthcare staff on 16 clinical standards of quality maternal care, addressing the access gap to ensure that safe and respectful care is available to mothers and newborns in the remotest corners of the state, Manyata's National convener Dr Hema Divakar said.
"At the heart of the Manyata initiative is the commitment to ensure every mother, no matter where she seeks care, is able to access the highest standards of quality care but given the challenges of access and capacity in India's hard-to-reach areas, particularly in Assam, this wont be possible without leveraging digital platforms as a core enabling factor", she said.
It would take years to build the infrastructure that Assam needs to provide quality care to all women, but "with just a good internet connection, we can build capacity for healthcare staff to provide high quality care to mothers and new-borns now so they don't have to wait."
Assam has made great strides in bringing down maternal mortality in the state but it still has the highest Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) in the country which is also much higher at 215 than the country's average of 113.
Given the state's unique difficulties in terms of terrain, roads, infrastructure, and inaccessibility to quality healthcare, Manyata's innovative digital training and certification model is working to ensure that these constraints do not hamper access to and delivery of quality maternal care for women in the state, she added.
"The Manyata training have been invaluable in helping my staff to adhere to intrapartum and postpartum protocols that are essential for a positive birthing experience for mothers and they are now able to deal with complications and emergencies by themselves", owner of one of the state's first Manyata certified facilities Dr Arun Baruah said.
Manyata has been a boon in the face of challenges posed by COVID-19 and is a huge value-addition for maternal care facilities, he added.
Manyata has already been initiated in Goalpara, which is one of the districts covered under Niti Aayog's Aspirational Districts programme.
From three states in 2017, Manyata is now present in 14 states but "our aim is to make sure that all 28 states are covered and we are working relentlessly to ensure that we meet this goal in the coming year", FOGSI's Chief Administrator of its National Programme Management Dr Hrishikesh Pai said.
The National Programme Management Unit at FOGSI has been relentlessly committed in its quest to make sure that even women in the remotest corners of Assam and the country have access to quality maternal care, he added.
At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has further necessitated the urgent need to improve maternal health outcomes in the country, particularly for underserved communities in hard-to-reach areas, Manyata is wielding the power of digital interventions to complement the Indian government's Universal Health Coverage ambitions and its goal to meet the SDG 3.1 goal of reducing maternal mortality to 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030, Pai said. - PTI