- April 11th
is observed as National Safe Motherhood Day
- This year the focus is on ensuring that women must have the
availability and adequate access to care during
pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal services.
- The White
Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood, India (WRA India) was formed to advocate
safe motherhood in India.
is observed on April 11 every year.
National Safe Motherhood Day 2016 is an initiative of the White Ribbon Alliance
India, to enforce that women must have the availability and adequate access to care during pregnancy
childbirth and postnatal services.
The White Ribbon
Alliance for Safe Motherhood, India (WRA India) was formed when Centre for
Catalyzing Change, an NGO, brought together a group of individuals and
organizations to advocate safe motherhood in India.
‘The mission of White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood, India (WRAI) is to inspire, encourage and assist the advocates of campaigns that help in upholding the rights of women to be safe during the child-bearing age and through the child birth process.’
An alliance of
1800 organizations was formed at the request of WRAI, in 2003 and the
Government of India declared April 11th
as National Safe Motherhood
Day. April 11th
marks the anniversary of Kasturba Gandhi's birth.
The goal of the
WRAI is to educate women and help them realize their rights to be safe and
healthy before, during and after childbirth. The mission of WRAI is to inspire,
encourage and assist the advocates of campaigns that help in upholding the
rights of women to be safe during the child-bearing age and through the child
The White Ribbon
Alliance works towards protecting lives of women and newborns in India by:
- Building alliances for improving
maternal health facilities.
- Strengthening capacity of
health care workers.
- Influencing policies of maternal care.
resources of technology and training.
- Inspiring action at
The WRAI members
organize activities and campaigns throughout the country. The campaigns aim to
increase awareness that every woman has the right to live and survive pregnancy
and childbirth. The members and NGOs come together on National Safe Motherhood
Day to share resources and technical expertise.
Indian women die during pregnancy and childbirth due to lack of adequate health
and medical services, education and accessibility, during prenatal, birth and
postnatal period for women. The huge number of deaths can be reduced
drastically with cost-effective, simple and proven techniques by improving
accessibility and education among women. The simple measures include improved nutrition of
during pregnancy to breastfeeding of the newborn within
half an hour after birth. The neonatal care ranges from keeping the baby
comfortably warm immediately after birth to providing immunizations
throughout the childhood
A woman's death
is not just a personal loss to the newborn child, who loses the primary
caregiver. The loss extends to the nation that foregoes her contributions to
economic and social development. She is a loss to the community that loses her
care and advice. She is a loss to her family which loses her love, nurturing
and productivity in the making of a home.
can be prevented in the following ways.
- Ensuring delivery by qualified and
skilled birth attendant.
- Reducing anemia among women during
adolescence and child-bearing age.
- Educating women on
nutrition during pregnancy.
inform women about family planning and safe methods.
- Education on the importance of breastfeeding.
postnatal care for mothers for pain and infections, excessive bleeding and
- Preventing child marriage.
education for the girl child.
- Providing immunization and
other disease prevention methods.
- Early detection and
management of complications of birth.
The pillars of
Safe Motherhood are listed as:
- Family planning
- Obstetric care - clean and safe delivery
- Postnatal care
- Control of sexually
transmitted diseases and HIV infections
The pillars of
Safe Motherhood are built on the strong foundations of:
- Communication and education of
women for behavior change.
- Primary health care for women
- Equality for women.
With the alliance of the NGOs under WRAI
and in collaboration with worldwide organizations like WHO, UNICEF and UNFPA,
India has been successful in lowering the maternal mortality rates. The rate of
decline in maternal deaths in India is comparatively much better than the
global rate of decline, thanks to the efforts of the organizations.