Speakers at a discussion stressed the need for improving the pro-poor maternal and child healthcare services for substantial and sustainable reduction in maternal and infant mortality and morbidity.
They said importance should be given on bringing all the pregnant mothers under the services of antenatal care, safe delivery and postnatal services for the sake of ensuring safe delivery and maternal and infant health.
Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) organized the discussion marking laying foundation stone of a child and maternity hospital at Tikapara area in the city yesterday afternoon.
Local Government Engineering Department is constructing the six- storey building at an estimated cost of around Taka 6 crore under the Urban Primary Healthcare Services Delivery Project.
RCC Mayor Mosaddeque Hossain Bulbul addressed the ceremony as chief guest with Panel Mayor Anwarul Amin Azab in the chair.
RCC Councilors Abu Bakker Kinu and Shamsunnahar, Chief Engineer Ashraful Haque and Chief Health Officer AFM Anzuman Ara Begum also spoke.
Mayor Bulbul said there are 14 healthcare centres and two maternal clinics in the city at present providing maternal and child healthcare services. The city corporation has taken initiative of providing more than 8,000 red cards among the poor and distressed families from ward No. 20 to 30 for extending maternal and child healthcare services free of cost, he added.
Dr Anzuman Ara said the distressed mothers normally work very hard during pregnancy and in many cases they are subjected to repression and domestic violence causing intra-uterine growth retardation. Apart from this, optimum cares not given to overcome the maternal malnutrition during pregnancy.
She added that when these deliveries are done at home by untrained personnel, eclampsia occurred in most of the cases as the pregnant mothers are not brought under antenatal care and institutional labour.
She, however, said the eclampsia-related deaths could be reduced if the patients are given emergency obstetrics care services immediately.
Dr Anzuman Ara told the meeting that many of the women are still seen opting for giving birth at home instead of hospitals due to various reasons like illiteracy, ignorance, poverty, superstition and religious belief triggering pregnancy-related complications.
To attain better result in this regard, emphasis should be given on creating social awareness and enhancement of educational level among adolescent girls, pregnant mothers coupled with their near and dear ones especially in the rural and underprivileged areas.
“Antenatal care and institutional delivery are considered as the effective means of preventing various types of high risk factors like pre-eclampsia, post-eclampsia, antepartum hemorrhage, post-partum hemorrhage, and obstructed labour,” she added. -BSS, Rajshahi