Saturday, May 25, 2024

Quality improvement program in Rajasthan saves over 2000 lives of mothers and babies and facilitates over 2 lakh safer deliveries

Operating under the world’s first Development Impact Bond for maternal and child health, a quality improvement program in Rajasthan has so far trained healthcare staff in almost 400 private hospitals in 32 districts across the state. These facilities, whose staff is now equipped to follow standardized clinical protocols for safe and respectful care, as well as provide live-saving obstetric care, have been certified under this program for their excellence in quality maternity services.

Under Utkrisht Impact Bond, the FOGSI-led capacity-building and quality assurance program Manyata, as well as the government accreditation NABH, have helped prevent 2,363 maternal and neonatal deaths as well as still births, and ensured 2,15,905 safer deliveries in the state between 2018 and 2020.

Dr Adesh Chaturvedi, the In-Country Team Leader for the Utkrisht Impact Bond, said, “Rajasthan has a higher maternal mortality rate than the country average. This program is instrumental to ensure that nursing staff in private hospitals are trained to provide high-quality and life-saving care. This is the only way to ensure the well-being of every mother and newborn.”

Furthermore, this program acts as a stepping stone to highly-coveted government accreditation schemes. Of the nearly 400 facilities certified under Manyata, more than 50 have already achieved accreditation from the National Accreditation Board of Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH). These quality assurance mechanisms for private hospitals are indispensable not only to reduce and eventually eliminate maternal and neonatal mortality in Rajasthan, but also to advance the government’s goals of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

India’s government is committed to achieving the UHC goal. However, no vision for UHC can be materialised without making the private healthcare sector an integral part of the process. “To accelerate progress towards the three pillars of Universal Health Coverage – availability, affordability, and quality of health services – we must effectively engage and integrate private healthcare providers into our UHC solutions and strategies. In this way, the private sector, where almost 50% of mothers in India seek care, can complement government efforts to ensure better and more equitable maternal health outcomes,” said Pompy Sridhar, India Director, MSD for Mothers.

Rajasthan is showing the way in how the private healthcare sector can self-regulate to complement government efforts to build a strong and unified health system. Presently, approximately 10% of births across the state take place in quality-certified Manyata facilities. In order to build on this momentum, private providers have to be empowered with the skills and incentives to offer quality care to all women. This is precisely the movement that Manyata and NABH are building in the state. By instituting a quality improvement and assurance system, and training healthcare providers on a combined set of 260 evidence-based standards for improving clinical and managerial quality, they are standardizing and elevating the quality of care that women and newborns have access to across the state of Rajasthan.

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