KULPI: Leading by example, Kulpi block in West Bengal's South 24 Parganas district has achieved 99 per cent institutional child delivery by providing state-of-the-art facilities, according to an official.
"We achieved almost 99 per cent institutional delivery in the year 2017-2018, as per the Health Management report by the government of India," said Tridip Das, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Health, Diamond Harbour Health District.
Explaining the details of their endeavour, AS Md. Mahfuz-ul Karim, Block Medical Officer, Health (BMOH), Kulpi Rural Hospital said: "We had to win the faith of the rural community people and women who were comfortable in delivering their babies at home. With the help of the government and Unicef, we addressed the problems of infrastructure, the lack of training, security of the women and spreading awareness with the help of ASHA workers."
Kulpi is around 62 kilometres from Kolkata.
According to Karim, the look and feel or the ambiance of a rural hospital can do magic in winning the faith of the people. Hence, the transformed labour rooms, postnatal wards, played a major role.
"We made sure that just because it is a government hospital, a patient shouldn't lie on the floors and hygiene be neglected," Karim told a group of visiting journalists on Friday.
ANANDI, an initiative to promote institutional delivery and Routine Immunization was launched on August 20, 2015, in South 24 Parganas. Unicef provided technical support in conceptualisation, planning, advocacy, monitoring, supportive supervision and overall guidance to the project.
While in the entire South 24 Parganas, the institutional delivery rate improved by 20 per cent points (65 per cent in 2014-2015 to over 90 per cent in 2017-2018). Kulpi is one of the blocks that showed remarkable improvement due to the active participation of BMOH, Medical Officers, Staff Nurses, etc.
Also, the ASHA workers play an important role in communicating and convincing the pregnant women. All of them together approached people and 'literally hijacked the women' and brought them to show the hospital in order to motivate them.
"We will now focus on 100 per cent immunisation coverage," Karim added.
Talking about how child-deliveries in a hospital can be very effective to curb malnutrition, country representative of Unicef Yasmin Ali Haque said: "Only 10 per cent of children in India get adequate quality and quantity of food during their weaning period, that is the major step that needs to be improved. A hospital can play a major role here."