Ministry : Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW)
Context of the Scheme:
Data indicates that Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) in India was very high in the year 1990 with 556 women dying during child birth per hundred thousand live births as compared to the global MMR of 385/lakh live births.
As per Registrar General of India- Sample Registration System (2011-13), MMR of India has now declined to 167/lakh live births against a global MMR of 216/lakh live births (2015). India has registered an overall decline in MMR of 70% between 1990 and 2015 in comparison to a global decline of 44%.
While India has made considerable progress in the reduction of maternal and infant mortality, every year approximately 44000 women still die due to pregnancy-related causes and approximately 6.6 lakh infants die within the first 28 days of life. Many of these deaths are preventable and many lives can be saved if quality care is provided to pregnant women during their antenatal period and high risk factors such as severe anemia, pregnancy-induced hypertension etc are detected on time and managed well.
The program aims to provide assured, comprehensive and quality antenatal care, free of cost, universally to all pregnant women on the 9th of every month.
Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan envisages to improve the quality and coverage of Antenatal Care (ANC) including diagnostics and counselling services as part of the Reproductive Maternal Neonatal Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH+A) Strategy.
Principle behind the scheme:
It is based on the premise — that if every pregnant woman in India is examined by a OBGY specialists/radiologist/physician and appropriately investigated at least once during the PMSMA and then appropriately followed up — the process can result in reduction in the number of maternal and neonatal deaths in our country.
PMSMA guarantees a minimum package of antenatal care services to women in their 2nd/3rd trimesters of pregnancy at designated government health facilities.
Antenatal checkup services would be provided by OBGY specialists/Radiologist/physicians with support from private sector doctors to supplement the efforts of the government sector.
The programme follows a systematic approach for engagement with private sector which includes motivating private practitioners to volunteer for the campaign; developing strategies for generating awareness and appealing to the private sector to participate in the Abhiyan at government health facilities. A National Portal for PMSMA and a Mobile application have been developed to facilitate the engagement of private/ voluntary sector.
One of the critical components of the Abhiyan is identification and follow up of high risk pregnancies. A sticker indicating the condition and risk factor of the pregnant women would be added onto MCP card for each visit:
Challenges to the Scheme:
Absence of infrastructure like hospitals, primary health care centres in easily accessible location. Even in many locations where hospitals or centres are present, they lack required manpower or working instruments. Load shedding which lead to power outrages are also a significant problem.
There is no institution to maintain quality of antenatal care in all the hospitals under PMSMY.
There is lack of awareness in general public coupled with a faulty mindset which takes child birth and women health lightly.