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National Safe Motherhood Day 2021: Theme, History, and Significance

Despite being considered as the weaker sex, women have been bestowed with the pivotal role of regeneration. As Rickie Lake once said, ‘Motherhood is the greatest thing and the hardest thing,’ it comes with a great share of responsibilities.

The National Safe Motherhood Day is observed on April 11 every year. It is an initiative of the White Ribbon Alliance (WRAI) to raise awareness about adequate access to care during pregnancy, childbirth, and postnatal services.

HISTORY

India is one of the most high-risk places in the world to give birth, accounting for 15 per cent of total maternal deaths worldwide. Every year, 44,000 women die in India due to improper care during pregnancy. This alarming data required immediate attention. At the request of WRAI, an alliance of 1800 organizations, the government of India declared April 11 as the National Safe Motherhood Day in 2003. The day also marks the birth anniversary of Kasturba Gandhi.

THEME

Every year, the members of WRAI select a nationwide theme and carry out full-scale campaign activities to increase awareness about the proper healthcare and maternity facilities for pregnant and lactating women. The activities also aim at creating awareness about women’s safety and ensuring the right to live life for them under any condition, including safe childbirth and pregnancy.

In 2019, the theme was “midwives for mothers” and in 2020, it was “Stay at home during Coronavirus, Keep mother and new-born safe from Coronavirus”.

SIGNIFICANCE

As per WHO’s data, approximately 830 women die every day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. In developing countries, the rate of maternal death ranges up to 99 per cent.

As the officials noted that skilled care before, during, and after childbirth can save the lives of women and new-born babies, there was a need to run a campaign to inform women on how to reduce mortality.

The aim of observing this day is to raise awareness and bring people together to achieve the target of reducing the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100000 live births, set as a part of the Sustainable Development Goals.

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