The maximum impact of Covid-19 has been felt by women, children and adolescents, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said Tuesday.
Participating in a programme on maternal, newborn and child health via a video link, Vardhan said his ministry issued guidance to states to ensure that women, children and adolescents continue to get all the healthcare services, according to an official statement.
“We are in a constant dialogue to ensure that these services are made available to women, children and adolescents and remain in focus despite the health systems being under severe strain due to COVID epidemic,” he was quoted as saying in the statement.
“From instilling a behavioral change to help more women deliver in hospitals to entitlement for absolutely free services, we have come a long way now in providing quality care throughout pregnancy and childbirth with interventions like LaQshya and midwifery care,” Vardhan said.
“The idea is to have a fully responsive and accountable health system that will not only result in a positive birthing experience but also help end preventable maternal and newborn deaths,” he said.
He mentioned that India is transitioning “towards a phase of moderate levels of maternal mortality and analyses have shown that many of the maternal deaths occur due to delay in timely provision of comprehensive obstetric care” which could have been prevented.
He also talked about protecting primary health care workers from the pandemic.
“We have taken actions to create a safer work environment for our COVID warriors through uninterrupted supply of essential logistics, personal protective gear and also made provision of life insurance cover for the people dedicated to COVID and healthcare services. “We have also been carrying out a spirited campaign to celebrate the Corona warriors and address stigma and discrimination that has come to be associated with this disease. I would say that this is not a single department’s effort, it is actually a whole of government approach that is helping us deliver to the last mile.” The event was co-hosted by the White Ribbon Alliance (WRA) and Every Woman Every Child (EWEC). A recurrent theme this year was the effort to protect hard earned gains in the field of Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health from the COVID pandemic