ROURKELA: A year after the antenatal scheme Matrujyoti was launched in Sundargarh district, the Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) and Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) have improved. From 19 cases reported between April and October 2020, the district registered only nine cases from September 9, 2020, when the scheme was launched till April 2021.
The Matrujyoti scheme enables pregnant women to avail four ultrasound scans and regular monitoring of vital parameters like blood pressure, blood sugar, haemoglobin, HIV and other necessary tests. Sundargarh is the only district of Odisha where the scheme was launched with funding from District Mineral Foundation (DMF). Besides the tests, under the scheme as many as 18 maternity waiting homes have been helping ensure safe institutional delivery of women from inaccessible and remote pockets of the tribal-dominated district.
Chief District Medical and Public Health Officer Dr SK Mishra said eight government and 45 private health facilities have been empanelled under Matrujyoti and for each ultrasound scan, `400 is paid to the private hospitals. The expectant mothers are accompanied to the facilities by Accredited Social Health Activists and anganwadi workers. Besides, the District Helpline helps in arranging appointments, coordination, and monitoring of high-risk cases. It also helps in the real-time assessment of cases by analysing them through the ‘e-swasthya’ portal.
Dr Mishra said though the figures are of only six months, there seem to be certain indications of improvement in MMR status in the district. The scheme was recently lauded by the Chief Minister’s Office. Sundargarh Collector Nikhil Pawan Kalyan said MMR and IMR in the district are now less than the State average. “I hope, the unique programme would bring further improvement in the figures,” he said.