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PMNCH Accountability Breakfast

  • 30 Sep 2020
  • 6 min read

Why in News

The Union Ministry for Health and Family Welfare participated in the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) ‘Accountability Breakfast’ (an annual event) to discuss the issues of maternal and child health.

  • The event was co-hosted by the White Ribbon Alliance (WRA) and Every Woman Every Child (EWEC).
  • Theme of the Event: Protecting gains in Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health from the Covid pandemic.


  • The Partnership (PMNCH) is a global health partnership founded in 2005.
  • It is hosted at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland which joins the maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) communities into an alliance.
  • The Accountability Breakfast aims to convert talk into action for the health and rights of women, children and adolescents.

The White Ribbon Alliance

  • WRA is a nonpartisan, non-profit and non-governmental membership organization that aims to decrease maternal and newborn death globally.
  • Founded in 1999 and same year it came to India as WRA India
  • Headquarters: Washington, D.C., USA

‘Every Woman Every Child’ (EWEC) Movement

  • It was launched by the United Nations during the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Summit in September 2010.
  • Every Woman Every Child is an unprecedented global movement that mobilizes and intensifies international and national action by governments, the private sector, and civil society to address the major health challenges facing women, children, and adolescents around the world.

Key Points

  • Indian Government Initiatives during Covid-19 Pandemic:
    • At the national level, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued guidance to the States to ensure that women, children and adolescents continue to get all the healthcare services even under severe strain due to Covid pandemic.
    • The government has tried to reduce out-of-pocket expenditure through its policy of no denial for essential services, like-
      • Reproductive Maternal Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH): It was launched in 2013 to address the major causes of mortality among women and children as well as the delays in accessing and utilizing health care and services.
      • Tuberculosis, chemotherapy, dialysis and healthcare of the elderly, irrespective of the Covid-19 status.
  • Government Initiatives related to Maternal and Child Health:
  • Reproductive Rights: A woman's choice during maternal care reckoned that maternity care goes much beyond healthcare services, also including dignity, privacy, confidentiality, choice and respect for her as well as her baby.
    • India’s Zero-tolerance approach: For service denial to pregnant women and their new-born babies.
    • Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act:
      • PCPNDT Act was enacted in 1994 and amended in 2003 and is an important tool for addressing sex-selective eliminations.
      • Objectives: To ban the use of sex selection techniques before or after conception and prevent the misuse of a prenatal diagnostic technique for sex-selective abortion.
    • The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971
      • The Act provides for termination up to 20 weeks. If an unwanted pregnancy has proceeded beyond 20 weeks, women have to approach a medical board and courts to seek permission for termination, which is extremely difficult and cumbersome. For this a new bill to amend the MTP Act is under the consideration of the Parliament.

Way Forward

  • The idea should be to have a fully responsive and accountable health system that will not only result in a positive birthing experience but also help end preventable maternal and newborn deaths.
  • Need for the strengthened system for client feedback, grievance redressal and greater accountability and transparency.

Source: PIB

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