What is Skilled Birth Attendance?

What the Human Rights Watch says is that Indian Government treats the huge increase of clinic-based deliveries as progress claiming that 20 million women gave birth in health facilities across India between mid-2005 and March 2009, yet there is no reliable information on what percentage of these 20 million women actually survived after childbirth or suffered complications after being discharged. Though the Government promotes giving birth in public health facilities, using cash incentives for poor women, with the goal of providing access to skilled care, there is little systemic information on whether rural clinics and district hospitals are able to provide adequate and timely care to save women with pregnancy-related complications. This is because India does not adequately monitor deaths and injuries in the critical period following childbirth and fix gaps in its health system and programme. Unless India can draw up a time-bound plan of action for independent certification and monitoring of public and private health facilities as ‘quality care providers’, there is no guarantee that women giving birth in health facilities are receiving the skilled birth attendance needed to save them.


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