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Shillong, Aug 12 (IANS) Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma on Friday inaugurated a safe motherhood transit home in West Garo Hills district under Chief Ministers Safe Motherhood Scheme (CM-SMS) to curb maternal mortality in an accelerated manner.
Sources in the state health department said that the authorities have identified maternal mortality to be of a major concern, recording 248 maternal deaths in 2020-21.
Sangma said that maternal deaths have come down by over 35 per cent in the last six months, as compared to the same period of previous year.
“The infant mortality is at 29 points against the national average of 28 for the year 2020-21. We strive to bring it down to less than the national average soon,” he said.
Inaugurating the safe motherhood transit home at Asanang under Rongram block in West Garo Hills district, the Chief Minister said the state government has accorded priority to care for pregnant mothers through the MOTHER programme and the safe motherhood scheme, aiming at increasing institutional deliveries and reducing maternal deaths to a minimum.
The main components of CM-SMS are — setting up transit homes for high-risk mothers; providing them food and space for their kids; arranging transport involving local entrepreneurs for pick-up and drop; encouraging husbands or family members to accompany the mother and stay with them; wage compensation of up to Rs 1,000 per person and award for the best performing village under each PHC once a year.
The Chief Minister also informed that 80 Primary Health Centres (PHCs) have already completed setting up transit homes in the state, while 84 PHCs have arranged for vehicle support and a total of Rs 36 crore has been earmarked for the scheme by dovetailing other programmes, including JSY and JSSK.