Integrated approach sought to reduce maternal mortality

Lalitpur, August 22:

Experts have emphasised the need of integrated planning approaches among the Health Ministry and other ministries, including the Transport Ministry, to reduce maternal mortality as well as to increase the mobility of health experts and locals.

Researchers said transportation systems played a crucial role in the reduction of maternal mortality.

Speaking at a national advocacy workshop on mobility and health organised by International Forum for Rural Transportation and Development along with the Swiss Agency for Development and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency yesterday, Dr Jagadish Pokharal, vice-chairman of National Planning Commission, said the state should plan and design development programmes keeping the accessibility and mobility of target groups in mind.

A research conducted in Dolakha, Baglung and Rammechap districts by the District Road Support Project in association with the Rural Health Development Project found that 33 people had died in three years due to poverty and lack of transport facilities.

A study on four trail bridges, conducted by the Helvetas Nepal in Surkhet, Baglung, Nuwakot and Panchthar districts revealed that the bridges build there increased access of people to health facilities.

During the study, it was found that the mobility of 94 per cent of skilled birth attendants due to the construction of bridges helped reduce maternal mortality and the vaccination campaigns became more regular.

Another study conducted by Practical Action Nepal in Dhading and Dhanusha found that non-motorised means of transport system like trolley to cross the river and cycle ambulances helped people access health facilities, which reduced the mortality rate.