New Delhi: It was a daunting task for rescue personnel to identify pregnant women in the flood-hit areas of Uttarakhand but they still managed to locate over 570 of them and ensured 141 safe deliveries so far.
"I believe 577 pregnant women have been contacted so far and there have been 141 safe deliveries," Vice Chairman of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) M Shashidhar Reddy said.
He said Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) among others were playing a big role in these efforts and hopefully all pregnant women will be given the required attention.
"Deliveries are taking place at various centres. Pregnant women are being advised to go to centres and not to go for deliveries at home. Deliveries in the centres give them better protection. The survival rate is also better," Reddy said.
He said very often women and children suffer more than men in disasters. "So when people are in relief camps or anywhere, the help that has to be rendered or assistance to such women is very often informed. The administration is now getting more sensitive in order to be able to help these people," said the vice chairman of the NDMA, which is coordinating rescue and relief operations in Uttarakhand.
He said the state government has set up a call centre (one can dial 108) and there is also an online portal of the government of India for Mother and Child Tracking System (MCTS)--www.Nrhm-mctsrpt.Nic.In.
"Through MCTS, pregnant women are being contacted by phone in Uttarakhand primarily in the four affected districts -- Uttarkashi, Rudraprayag, Chamoli and Pithoragarh," Reddy said.
The flood that hit parts of Uttarakhand on June 16 has claimed 560 lives and left about 3,500 people stranded.