JMS’ documentation and action on maternal and neonatal deaths raised an alert among sanghtans in other taluks who also documented similar cases in their areas. A district level analysis of maternal and neonatal health issues was put together by Karnataka Janaarogya Chaluvali (KJC).
- The district administration is guilty of inflicting such violence on women from marginalized and poor communities by not strengthening the public health system:
- 70% of the specialists’ positions are vacant in the district. There are no fulltime permanent gynecologists and obstetricians in the taluk hospitals because of which they have become dysfunctional and cannot provide first level emergency obstetric care.
- Even though there are only 8 vacant positions of medical officers in the district, most do not stay in the headquarter village and are not available round the clock in the 24X7 PHCs in the district (examples: Hirekotnekal and Sejjalgudda).
- 62% of the supervisory cadre is vacant.
- 57% of the Jr. Health Assistant (male) positions are vacant
- 40% of the Jr. Health Assistant (female) positions are vacant
- 44% of drivers positions are vacant
- 36% of group D workers positions are vacant
- 32% of pharmacist positions are vacant
- 20% of staff nurse positions are vacant
- There are only 2 out of required 7 senior pharmacists in the district
- 18% of lab technicians positions are vacant
Even though Raichur enjoys special status under Article 371J of the Constitution, the district has been discriminated against when it comes to filling up staff vacancies in the public health system. Non-availability of staff is the single most reason for increasing maternal and neonatal complications and deaths in the district.
Demanding health care facilities…
JMS also participated actively in several protests and meetings by KJC’s raichur district forum:
Protest on Independence Day, 15th August 2014, demanding restoring supply of IFA tablets
- Overnight protest against one maternal death and three neonatal deaths all on the same day in one CHC in Mudgal, Lingsgur taluk
- Meeting with the Chairperson of the Women’s Commission: JMS along with several other sanghatans participated in a district level review meeting organized by the Women’s Commission on 30th January 2015.
Jagrutha Mahila Sanghatane (JMS) continued its focus on mobilizing Dalit women around basic entitlements while deepening its focus on violence against women, maternal and neonatal health during 2014-15.
As part of Karnataka Janaarogya Chaluvali (KJC), JMS has been actively leading documentation and actions in Manvi taluk to draw attention of the district and taluk administration to problems in the public health system specifically those affecting maternal and neonatal health. Using formats developed by KJC, JMS tracked documented and analyzed 7 neonatal deaths,three maternal deaths, several instances of complications during delivery and post-partum period in three panchayat areas of Manvi taluk.
Of the 5 women who lost their newborn infants, four were first time mothers, ll belonged to SC/ ST communities and all had hb <10gm%
Two first time mothers were carrying carrying triplets and twins respectively:
- Both were seeking antenatal care in private hospital.
- The woman with triplets lost all three in a private hospital in her 7th month of pregnancy. She had visited the Tornanadinni PHC only once.
- The woman carrying twins died in a private hospital during delivery along with one newborn. She had been asked to seek antenatal and delivery care in a private nursing by the pediatrician in Manvi taluk hospital.