Campaign to reduce maternal deaths in Karnataka


Bangalore : An apex body of obstetricians and gynecologists has joined hands with the US-based international non-profit organisation Programme for Appropriate Technology in Heath (Path) to reduce maternal deaths across Karnataka.

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As part of the agreement signed recently, the Federation of Obstetric & Gynecological Societies of India (FOGSI) will campaign for safe and appropriate use of Uterotonics, a drug used to augment labour, through obstetricians, gynecologists and medical officers by imparting training and hands-on experience.

“The Oxytocin initiative project at Path conducted a review looking at Uterotonic use at or around birth, and the quality of injectable Uterotonics across the state. The review created awareness on critical issues related to Uterotonic use and misuse during labour and delivery,” federation president Hema Divakar said in a statement here Monday.

Nothing that maternal deaths were a serious concern in several states across the country, Divakar said direct causes were haemorrhage (38 percent), sepsis (11 percent), hypertensive disorders and obstructed labour (5 percent), abortion (8 percent) and other conditions (34 percent.

“In Karnataka, maternal death rate is 213 per 100,000 as against 157 in Andhra Pradesh and 97 in Tamil Nadu. Misuse of Uterotonic drugs plays a pivotal role in the whole process,” Divakar lamented.

In keeping with this year’s theme – ‘Innovation to Implementation’, the federation hopes to create an impact through collaboration with Path.

“We will show the world, the impact of what one billion Indians can do — saving mothers is our primary mission and the collaboration with Path aims to prevent avoidable deaths of mothers in the state,” Divakar said.

Stimulation of uterus during labour by using Uterotonic drugs to increase frequency, duration and strength of contractions when spontaneous contractions are considered inadequate is common.

“We believe that if we can improve health in India, we can change the face of global health. This collaboration is part of our initiatives to improve health delivery systems in the country,” Path director for maternal health & nutrition W. Sita Shankar said in the statement.

Over the next six months, the ‘Save Mothers’ campaign will be extended to 19 districts across the state.

Champions to the campaign, such as youth leaders and thought leaders from the partnering organisations will map out strategies for effective implementation of protocols to take care of bleeding after delivery.

“Training frontline health care providers in backward districts of Bidar, Gulbarga, Bagalkot and Bijapur in the northern region of the state will help them to reduce maternal deaths in the state,” Shankar said.

The federation recognizes its role beyond healthcare because only when a woman is educated and empowered to decide about her own reproductive health, will society be able to achieve the vision of promoting wellness and preventing illness.

As a professional organisation of practitioners of obstetrics and gynaecology, the 63-year-old federation has 219 member societies and27,000 members across the country.