With the increasing spread of COVID19, there have been disruptions in access to maternal healthcare and childcare facilities. Developing countries like India, are struggling with a rush of patients at hospitals requiring screening, testing, and intensive care. During the nationwide lockdown in India, the number of institutional deliveries may have fallen by as much as 40%
due to the fear of contracting the novel coronavirus, no transport facilities and lack in maternal healthcare facilities. The ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers instituted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for women seeking maternal healthcare facilities have now been deployed to COVID19 related duties, leaving pregnant women vulnerable and overlooked.
To know more about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the maternal healthcare system and the situation in the remote areas for pregnant women and newborns, our Research and Communications Officer, Kunika Balhotra reached out to Dr Aparna Hegde, Associate Professor of Urogynecology and the Head of the Division of Urogynecology at Cama Hospital, Mumbai. She is also the founder of ARMMAN, which creates scalable programs using technology innovatively to impact maternal and child health. ARMMAN works in 16 states in India and it’s programs have reached more than 18 million women and their children.