The 54th All India Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology began in Mumbai. The AICOG is the most important annual event on the academic calendar of the Federation of Obstetric and Gynecological Societies of India and thereby every specialist involved with women’s health in India.
Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare was the Chief Guest at the inaugural programme.
Addressing the function, Shri Azad said Maternal and Child Health has received utmost priority from the Health Ministry. There has been a significant decline in MMR, IMR and TFR in India. The current MMR as per the latest Sample Registration Survey is 212 per 100,000 live-births and the IMR is 44 per 1,000 live births. However, the current pace of decline needs to be further accelerated to achieve the commitments on the millennium development goals.
He said since the launch of National Rural Health Mission 7 years ago, substantial progress has been achieved. About Rs. 90,000 crores has been provided to States/UTs. New Health Infrastructure has been created. About 43,500 new construction and up-gradation works were taken up to improve health facilities. About 70,000 beds have been increased in the country in government health institutions for provision of essential and emergency services. Addition of about 1.5 lakh human resources includes Specialists, Doctors, Nurses, ANMs and Para-medics. Over 8,60,000 Community Health Workers called ASHAs have been appointed in villages to act as bridge between the communities and the health facilities.
An innovative scheme of providing cash assistance to pregnant women delivering in public health facilities was launched. Under the Safe Motherhood Scheme, the number of women choosing to access and deliver in public health institutions at primary, community, district and tertiary hospitals rose from 7,00,000 in 2005-06 to over 11 million in 2011-12.
Shri Azad said Mother and Child Tracking System (MCTS) has been put in place to reach out to every pregnant woman for proper care during pregnancy and to every child for proper vaccination. Information is collected to track every mother and child by name, address and telephone for which a BPO type system has been set up in the Ministry to verify the data and inform the women of the check-ups and immunization schedule.
He said the childbearing women need a “continuum of care” to ensure the best possible health outcome for them and their newborns. The continuum starts from before conception to childhood through pregnancy, childbirth and infancy. If complications occur, women and their newborns need care at secondary or tertiary level. The successful provision of a continuum of care requires a well-functioning and quality conscious health system, which includes the regulatory framework and policies that support provision of effective maternal and newborn health through skilled attendants. Many innovative steps have been taken to improve the healthcare services and general well-being of our population, particularly women and children.
It may be mentioned that the All India Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology (AICOG) is the important annual event on the academic calendar of the Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecological Societies of India (FOGSI) involved with women’s health. Gynecologists and medical experts from India and abroad participate in the academic event.