Report by OD bureau, Bhubaneswar: Bansidhar & Ila Panda Foundation, the social development arm of IMFA, along with International NGO Pathfinders International held a Panel Discussion on “Maternal & Newborn Health” at Bhubaneshwar on the 28th September 2012.
The panelists were Joint Director, Department of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of Odisha, Dr Parimala Mohanty; Head of UNFPA in Odisha, Mr. Hemant Dwivedi; renowned Paediatrician and Fellow National Neonatology Forum, Dr. Satish Saluja, eminent Gynecologist of the state, Dr. Sujata Kar, and CEO Bansidhar & Ila Panda Foundation Ms. Shaifalika Panda.
Odisha, which has made remarkable progress in reducing Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) and Infant & Neonatal deaths in the last few years, is still way above the national average. The Bansidhar & Ila Panda Foundation has taken up several initiatives to address this issue – basic health checkup in Rayagada & Chowdwar, infrastructure development in Angul District Hospital, training ASHAs and ANMs in Keonjhar etc. The purpose of this Panel Discussion was to deliberate upon various courses of action in an effort to create awareness and mitigate these issues. The interactive session, included members from the field of medical science, administration, development sector, corporates, civil society, journalists and students pursuing development studies .
Speaking on the occasion Ms. Shaifalika Panda, CEO, Bansidhar & Ila Panda Foundation said “ Saving the lives of mothers and newborns requires more that just medical intervention. Together we must create a supportive environment to help women make the right decisions on critical issues that effect their health. Educating families and communities on the importance of antenatal and delivery care is key in controlling maternal and newborn mortality “.
The Bansidhar & Ila Panda Foundation, was set up in March 2011 to serve the disadvantaged and marginalized groups by implementing sustainable and scalable initiatives to achieve significant socio economic transformation. The foundation’s areas of focus are Education, Skill Development, Water & Sanitation and an all encompassing programme on Women & Children with specific focus on preventive health programs for maternal & child health.