GUWAHATI, Nov 4 � High-risk pregnant women, particularly in rural areas of Assam, will now have a special identification mark that would facilitate �special and specific� pre and post-natal care, a step taken to arrest the alarming maternal mortality rate in Assam, which has the highest maternal mortality rate in India.
A �red identification mark� on the Mother-Child Protection Card (MCP) is soon going to make these special category of patients immune to the hassles of long queues and fetch immediate and much-needed follow-up diagnosis in the time of distress or any time during the period of pregnancy.
�If you identify them at an earlier stage, you can save them. The introduction of the red identification mark is aimed at identifying them and treating them accordingly,� a senior Health department official told The Assam Tribune.
Assam, with the highest maternal mortality in the country, will arguably be the first State to introduce the novel step, targeting particularly the rural population where access to quality health care is still a concern.
The identification mark will help health workers to categorize such hi-risk patients by keeping a tab on them.
Of every one lakh women, 301 of them die during the course of delivering the baby, much higher than the national average of 178 deaths per one lakh pregnant women.
As far as child mortality rate is concerned, the State is rated as the second highest prevalence rate in the entire country. Every year 55 out of 1,000 infant die due to number of complications.
Dr K Zaman, maternal health consultant, National Health Mission said, �After implementing it on an experimental basis in a few pockets of Nagaon, Morigaon and Dibrugarh, we are also set to replicate the move in all the districts of Assam.�
The step will help us monitor the high-risk pregnant women in an effective way round-the-year and reduce the high maternal mortality rate in Assam.
Assam has already in place the mother and child tracking system by dint of which line-listing of pregnant women is done.
Further, in order to encourage institutional delivery system, the health department has identified certain pockets where the concept of home delivery is still prevalent.
�We after identifying those areas and have engaged our skilled birth attendants to intervene and help in having safe and risk-free delivery of babies,� a senior NHM official added.