Pune: Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANM) confess that maternal health at the village-level suffers because of lack of manpower and training to handle complications during childbirth. They also mentioned that there is a need for more manpower and doctors, including gynaecologists and paediatricians in rural areas.
According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) - 4, births assisted by a doctor, nurse, ANM or other health personnel is about 88.1 per cent in rural parts of the State against 95 per cent in urban areas. Institutional births are 86.7 per cent in the villages in the state against 94.8 per cent in urban sectors in Maharashtra.
Nurses from different parts of the state were in the city recently at Bharat English School, Shivajinagar, to be part of a skill development workshop. The workshop was organised by Foundation For Research in Community Health, a non-profit voluntary organisation working in the field of healthcare and Centre For Maternal and Newborn Health at Liverpool school of Tropical Medicine, UK.
Yogita Tilekar, who is presently working at Malshiras Public Health Centre in Solapur, said that as a nurse midwife, it is her job to get in touch with pregnant women in the village, pursue them for a routine check-up.
“We also have to keep a follow-up of high-risk patients and ensure deliveries do not happen at home. We assist women in delivery safely. If there are complications, we refer them to the district hospitals. If complications arise during or after delivery, we are not trained to handle them,” said Tilekar while discussing the difficulties faced by ANMs.
She also added that there is an extreme shortage of manpower of helpers, midwives, nurses and doctors in rural areas.
“The government has set up good infrastructure but the management needs to improve.
“There is a grave need for more manpower and doctors, including gynaecologists and paediatricians in villages,” said Tilekar while talking about the problems in maternal health care in rural parts.
An ANM or Auxiliary Nurse Midwife is a village-level female health worker who works at health sub-centres providing primary health care to the community.
The work of auxiliary nurse midwives mainly includes maternal and child health and they are trained for the same.