Published: 05th July 2022
Karnataka to get National Midwifery Training Institute in partnership with Centre, UNICEF and others
Lack of trained service providers or over-medicalisation of the delivery process has been found to be the major reasons for poor intrapartum care
Karnataka is setting up its first National Midwifery Training Institute (NMTI) at the State-run Vani Vilas Women & Children Hospital. The Midwifery Initiative is a public-private partnership between Central and State governments, UNICEF and Bengaluru-based Aastrika Foundation.
According to informed sources, midwifery educators will be trained at NMTI with support from international midwives, who would in turn train nurse practitioners in midwifery at the State Midwifery Training Institutes in Karnataka, stated a report in The New Indian Express.
The State, at 83 maternal deaths per lakh live births, is said to have the highest Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) in South India. Kerala, on the other hand, has an MMR of 30 maternal deaths per lakh live births.
One of the major contributors to maternal deaths is the poor quality of intrapartum (time period spanning childbirth) care.
"Midwifery is a proven, globally acclaimed intervention that can prevent as many as 83% of all maternal and newborn deaths. The initiative has promoted respectful maternal care and natural births, thereby bringing down the need for C-sections," said Chief of Field Office, UNICEF, for Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana, Meital Rusdia.
Telangana is a pioneer on this front and, "learnings from the state initiative have fed into the national Midwifery Initiative. Based on the learnings from the pilot in Telangana and the guidance received from the Government of India, UNICEF has partnered with the Government of Karnataka and Aastrika Foundation to support the launch of the Midwifery Initiative and the National Midwifery Training Institute at Vani Vilas Hospital in Karnataka. This is a gamechanger and a solution to the health personnel gap in the country," she added.
Lack of trained service providers or over-medicalisation of the delivery process has been found to be the major reasons for poor intrapartum care. Disrespect and abuse of women during childbirth also act as deterrents for women and their families to opt for institutional delivery.
In 2018, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MH&FW) had come out with guidelines for the Midwifery Initiative for all states and Union Territories.
Quoting a Lancet report, which stated that safe and effective midwifery care (which includes family planning) can avert 83% of all maternal deaths, stillbirths and newborn deaths, the Centre had rolled out the National Midwifery Guidelines during the Partner's Forum 2018 in New Delhi.
The guidelines introduced the concept of Midwifery Led Care Units (MLCUS) managed by nurse practitioners in midwifery at Medical Colleges, District Hospitals, First Referral Units (FRUs) and Community Health Centres (CHCs.)