Date From : Jul 31, 2019To : Aug 01, 2019

Observer Research Foundation in collaboration with South African Consulate General in Mumbai will be organising Nelson Mandela Day: Maternal Health in a changing world | Access, equity, quality, technology.

The World Health Organisation defines Maternal health as the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. The following table illustrates data on India and South Africa in relation to critical indicators of maternal healthcare:
Maternal Health Indicators Percentage in India Percentage in South Africa
Women  aged 15-49 years  who received postnatal care within two days after giving birth 62 84
Antenatal care coverage for at least four visits 51 75
Births attended by skilled health personnel 81 97
Women aged 15-49 years with a live birth delivered in a health facility 79 96
Births who had their first postnatal checkup within the first two days after birth 24 Not Available
Source: UNICEF The panel discussion on Maternal Health will touch upon the pillars of Access, Equity, Quality, and Technology. What are the common challenges India and South Africa face while attempting to improve access to maternal healthcare? How can both countries create better equity in their healthcare provisions? What are the hurdles both countries have faced in enhancing better quality maternal health care? What is the role of technology today in improving all three pillars of access, equity, and quality? ACCESS:In articulating a strategy for enhancing maternal health, seamless access to key dimensions needed to achieve it is inevitable. These dimensions involve both demand and supply side factors. The demand side factors include affordability of prenatal  care in general (e.g. appropriate nourishment ) and medical care in particular with regular visits to the health care specialist, the cost of requisite medication, institutional delivery and associated costs, etc. Lack of health literacy also impedes access to maternal health. The supply side factors include the deficits in medical infrastructure such as number of hospitals, Primary Health Care units, lack of skilled healthcare specialists, lack of access to essential medical equipment, life-saving drugs, innovative healthcare solutions and technology. The interplay between access and equity, and access and technology is obvious, and the solutions to the problems of access must leverage this interplay. EQUITY: In India’s case, income inequality has a direct effect on maternal health. For example, mothers in the lowest economic bracket have about a two-and-a-half times higher mortality rate. There is an evident association of low maternal health amongst low-income women, women in rural areas, tribal women and women in specific minority groups. South Africa shows a similar trend, where considerable inequities remain amongst groups. Appropriate attention should be given to how these social determinants interplay in generating and sustaining inequity, when designing policies and programmes. QUALITY:In order to improve quality, it is essential to first measure it. In maternal healthcare, some of the factors impacting quality include supplies and infrastructure, relationship with patients, the kind of training imparted to health workers etc. Most quality factors revolve around immediacy, efficacy, as well as comfort of care. In addition to hospital care, quality must include an ecosystem that caters to the needs of a patient from the pre-pregnancy stage  to postpartum stage. In addition, adequate  information systems  must complement conventional quality parameters. TECHNOLOGY: How far has technology helped both countries create equitable and top-quality access to healthcare? Is there a requirement and available funds for this technological leap in healthcare?There is a need to deliberate on how both India and South Africa can realise their Sustainable Development Goal of maternal health and how the two nations can use new technology, best practices, and collaboration to articulate a joint strategy for maternal health. Panelists
  • Maropene Ramokgopa, Hon’ble Consul General, Republic of South Africa in Mumbai
  • Ms Sweety Pathak, Associate Programme Director, Society for Nutrition, Education
& Health Action (SNEHA)
  • Sanjida Arora, Center for Enquiry into Health and Allied Themes
  • Sangeeta Pikale, Director, Maharashtra Healthcare Sector Skill Council
  • Aparna Hegde, Founder, ARMMAN and Founder, Center for Urogynecology and Pelvic Health
  • Kamaxi Bhate, Member Secretary, MCGM’s Savitribai Phule Gender Resource Centre; Former Professor and Head of Preventive and Social Medicine, KEM Hospital (MODERATOR)

The panel discussion will be from 5-7 pm and the Q&A session will be preceded by the screening of a short film on Dr. Nelson Mandela’s views on public health.

Venue Address

Observer Research Foundation, 5th floor, NKM International House, Babubhai Chinai Marg, 176, Backbay Reclamation, Mumbai – 400020