Bihar Women’s Tribunal on Health - “Primary Health System & Services for Women and Children”
India has the greatest number of under-5 deaths along with countries like Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Ethiopia. Nearly 2.1 million children under the age of five die each year mostly from preventable causes.
“Primary Health System & Services for Women and Children”
~3 more years left to achieve MDGs 4 & 5 ~
Patna-'Child Health Now' - Campaign is holding a Women’s Tribunal on Health, bringing around 150 women from 37 districts of the state to bear testimonies on lack of primary health services, barrier to health due to prevailing exclusion of women and children due social determinants, gaps in the state spending on health, poor health infrastructure and workers status. The CHN campaign is part of the Global Child Health Campaign addressing Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 & 5 to reduce Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) & improve Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR).
India has the greatest number of under-5 deaths along with countries like Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Ethiopia. Nearly 2.1 million children under the age of five die each year mostly from preventable causes. India also has a Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) 16 times higher than Russia and 10 times higher than China. 75% of these maternal deaths are preventable. A high IMR and MMR are clear indicators of gaps in the provision of primary health care services.
Another alarming fact reveals that low HDI states like - Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Orissa and Uttarakhand account for a large percentage of the total maternal deaths in the country. 70 per cent of all infant deaths in India are concentrated in eight states of Bihar, UP, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat.
As per the Annual Health Report of Census of India 2010-11 Bihar, one of the low HDI states, has the highest Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of 3.9. Purnia division of Bihar has the maximum MMR of 377 and Madhepura has the maximum IMR of 71. With a large density of population and marginal improvement in the health care sector, the MDG is far from being attained in the state.
Given the current situation, CHN, along with its core partners, has taken the initiative to co-organise a Women’s Tribunal on Health in Patna. The main objective behind this endeavour is to provide a platform for the most vulnerable women to share their experiences and practices with regard to health rights violations and absence of health services. The event will also identify glaring gaps in the health delivery system as per India Public Health Standard (IPHS) and poor implementation of existing MNCH schemes/programmes.
Smt Bulu Sareen, Head CHN of World Vision India, highlighted that "Accessibility & affordability of the primary health care services in Bihar is extremely pathetic despite commitment of adequate investment for MNCH by the state government, the most vulnerable women and children from scheduled castes, tribal and minority communities are the worst victims, gaps in implementation of government health schemes and poor infrastructure together with huge backlog in health workers are the main issues that need addressing and solutions sought with the government."
The hearing will be presided over by a panel of jury members from the Humanitarian & Legal sectors, who would note the concerns and draw up recommendations for submission to the Government of Bihar.
The jury consists of eminent personalities from the Humanitarian & Legal sectors, like Shri Ramdeo Prasad - Chairman Bihar State Child Labour Commission, Dr S I Amir - Sr. Regional Director, Regional Office for Health and Family Welfare of Bihar, Justice S.N. Jha - Chairman-Bihar Human Rights Commission, Smt Nibedita Jha - Chief Editor Nai Dunia, Smt Renu Sinha - Member of Bihar State Women’s Commission Patna, Sehba Hussain - Advisor Planning Commission, Shri Sujeet Ranjan - State Director, Care India, Shri Sanat Kumar Sinha - Chief Executive Ball Sakha / Director Child Line Patna, Shri Swapan Mazumder - Executive Director, Bihar Volunteer Health Association Patna, Irina Sinha - Project Officer, Bihar Mahila Vikash Nigam, Bineeta Prasad - Dy. Director, Indian Red Cross Society Patna, Dr. Shakeel – Director CHARM Patna, Shri Pramod Singh - BHFC Patna, Shri Mukhtar Ul Huqe - Bachpan Bachao Andolan Patna, Shri Rajdev Chaturvedi Azamgarh, Shri Ramayan Yadav - Vigyan Foundation Lucknow, Smt Rajlaxmi Kakkar - Laxmi Lucknow and Smt Shashiprava Bhindani - Swavimanee Orissa.
Shri Amarjeet Sinha, IAS, The Principal Health Secretary of Bihar, will grace the occasion and officially receive recommendations from the jury members. The Principal Health Secretary is fully aware of the issues, in the state, pertaining to women and children's health and service delivery mechanisms. “We are looking forward to working along with CHN on solutions to resolve these issues. This tribunal will help address critical primary health care concerns and work towards bridging implementation gaps in existing health schemes/programmes."
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