The Union Health Ministry and MoS (finance) launched LaQshya – Labor Room Quality Improvement Initiative, a safe delivery mobile application, and also released the operational guidelines for obstetric High Dependency Units (HDUs) and intensive care units (ICUs) to advance the agenda of Universal Health Coverage in the country.

There is enough evidence that supports the fact that improving the quality of care in labor rooms especially on the day of birth, is central to maternal and neonatal survival. Recognizing this fact, the government has launched LaQshya that is expected to improve the quality of care that is being provided to the pregnant mother in the labor room and maternity OTs, thereby preventing the undesirable adverse outcomes associated with childbirth. This initiative will be implemented in government medical colleges besides district hospitals, and high delivery load sub-district hospitals and community health centers.

Another important aspect related to maternal mortality is availability of critical care for complicated cases. For this, the government has released guidelines for setting up of obstetric HDUs and ICUs in 2016 that presents a broad concept. The government is now releasing the operational guidelines for obstetric HDUs and ICUs that will complement the already existing national guidelines and help the states and state level policy makers in setting up and operationalizing these critical care units, dedicated to pregnant women and mothers who have recently delivered, in medical colleges and district hospitals.

The government is also launching the safe delivery application, a mHealth tool, that can be used for health workers who manage normal and complicated deliveries in peripheral areas. The application has clinical instruction films on key obstetric procedures which can help the health workers translate their learnt skills into practice. It can play a pivotal role in training, post training reinforcement, mentoring, and demonstration. This application has been tailored as per the Indian context. It has also been field tested in few districts and has been found to be useful for health workers who provide maternity care.

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