Mother and Child Health
This article deals with ‘ Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health- Mother and Child Health .’ This is part of our series on ‘Governance’ which is important pillar of GS-2 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here
Why Government should invest in Mother and Child Health?
Imagine government as investor . Given fiscal and capacity constraints, where would it invest to reap maximum benefits?
According to Economic Survey , low-cost maternal and early-life health and nutrition programs offer very high returns because:
- Spending on Mother is economic option :
- Healthy mother is more likely to give birth to a healthy baby who learns better and stays on in school longer
- Most rapid physical and cognitive development occurs in the womb
- Success of subsequent interventions—schooling and training—are influenced by early-life development. Eg Government’s investment in skills training can reap best results only if Child has developed full Cognitive & Physical Health during early age
Indices regarding Mother-Child Health
1 . Neo Natal Mortality Rate
- Number of deaths of Children below the age of 1 month per 1000 live births
- Neo Natal Mortality depend
upon Mother’s health
- Main cause of mortality during first month is different from next 11 months. It depends on in Utero Nutrition which is determined by Birth Weight of Children
- India has high Neo Natal
- Indian women begin pregnancy at low weight . Along with that, they don’t gain weight during pregnancy => Result in low birth weight of child
2. Infant Mortality Rate (IMR)
- Number of deaths of Children below the age of 1 year per 1000 live births
|According to NFHS 4, IMR of India =||41|
- Note : IMR is an important indicator used for determining the socio-economic status of any country because more than any age group, survival of infants depends upon their socio-economic environment.
3. Child Mortality Rate (CMR)
- Number of deaths of Children in age group of 0-4 year per 1000 live births
4. Under Five Mortality Rate (U5MR)
- Number of deaths of Children in age group of 0-5 year
per 1000 live births
- According to NFHS 4, U5MR of India is 50
- SDG Target to be achieved by India = 25
- U5MR is internationally accepted standard instead of Child Mortality Rate. Hence, India moving towards it.
5. Maternal Mortality Rate
- Death of mothers during or within 42 days of child birth per 1 lakh live births
- According to NFHS 4, Maternal Mortality Rate of India is 130
Schemes of Government to reduce MMR , IMR , CMR
1 . Pradhan Mantri Suraksheet Matritva Yojana
- By Health Ministry in 2016
- Ante – Natal (before birth) checkup for pregnant women on 9th of every month by specialist
2. Janani Suraksha Yojana
- To promote Institutional delivery of the pregnant women.
3. LaQshya Program
- Under Health Ministry since 2018
- For Labour Room upgradations
4. Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana
- ₹ 6,000 to be given to all mothers
- To be given in Installments (6th Month pregnancy || 3 months after birth || 6 months after birth)
- Applicable for first two children.
5. Integrated Child Development Program
- Flagship scheme – aims to improve nutrition , health status & school dropout ratio of children in age group 0-6 years
- 2016-17 : Other schemes like Anganwadi Services, National Crèche Scheme brought under this
6. Promotion of Breast Feeding
- Improving Infant and young child feeding practices including breastfeeding promotion.
7. To Combat Diseases among Pregnant Women & infants
- Anaemia : Major problem in Pregnant women. Iron Folic Acid Supplements are given by government
- Diarrhoea : Large number of infants die because of this . ORS and Zinc Tablets are given
Disease Externalities – Open Defecation
Unique source of early life disease in India is open defecation
How Open Defecation impact health of child ?
- Open defecation spreads germs into the environment, and therefore makes growing children sick. It can cause
- Diarrhea: robbing growing children of food that they eat.
- Environmental enteropathy : chronic inflammation of the intestines => reduces ability of children’s intestines to absorb nutrients
- Problem of child stunting is worse in villages where a higher percentage defecate in the open.
Level of Problem
- Open defecation in India is much more common than even much poorer countries.
- Bangladesh = Almost open defecation free
- In 2015 , according to WHO : 61% of rural Indians defecate in open (2018 after Swachh BM : 90% Rural India now has laterine)
- Many people in rural India who live in households with working latrines defecate in the open.
=> These facts indicate that income constraints may not be the main determinant of open defecation.
Addressing Open Defecation
- Swachh Bharat Mission
- UN’s Sustainable Development Goals commit to ending open defecation worldwide by 2030.
- Behavioural change using ads & religious leaders