Nagpur: New course aims at cutting down Maternal Mortality Rate

Nagpur, Aug 10, 2013: Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (Fogsi) has planned to start a super specialty course to train obstetricians and gynaecologists (OBGY) in dealing with women with high risk pregnancies. They hope to reduce maternal mortality rate through this. This one and half year post graduate course in 'critical care in obstetrics' to be run by Fogsi after MD course aims to create OBGY specialists who would man what the federation is terming High Dependency Units (HDUs) on the lines of ICUs.

The course, which is likely to start by March next year, will be a distance education course with practical training happening in big public hospitals in major cities. Fogsi president Dr HemaDivakar told TOI from Bangalore that to begin with, the federation was tying up with seven universities in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Assam, Karnataka, Orissa, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu to start the course in these states and would expand it gradually to other states.

"The idea is to create HDUs on the lines of ICUs in big public hospitals. Creating the infrastructure is not a difficult task. But creating the faculty to run the course and give practical hands-on training requires time. In the present scenario, women with high risk pregnancies do not get the required attention. If HDUs are created, these women, who in no way require ICU kind of treatment but require very specialized and expert care, can be given that by maternal HDU specialists," said Dr Divakar.

A consensus on starting the course emerged at the recently held all-India conference on critical care in OBGY at Pune where vice-chancellors from 11 big universities brainstormed on the subject. Dr Divakar said such a concept of HDUs existed in countries like USA and UK but Fogsi had floated the idea for the first time in India.

Fogsi already has 15 trained faculties for the course but they are not enough for the entire country. Federation has hence decided to first create a pool of another 15 specialists who can handle pregnant women prone to go into organ failure due to associated conditions like blood pressure, diabetes etc. In the beginning, Fogsi is linking the project with National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) under which role model HDUs will be created. One such has been created at Institute of Obstetric and Gynaecology at Chennai. HDUs will be set up initially in only university hospitals.

"Five years down the line when we have when at least 15 qualified HDUs in place, some change will begin to happen. Till then, besides OBGY doctor, HDUs will have specialists like nephrologists, cardiologists on call on permanent basis. Once the first set of the experts are ready, they will run HDUs all by themselves," said Dr Divakar.

Fogsi is already preparing the teaching module for the course and will continue with advocacy of the issue. Entries for the course will be formally announced in September. (Source: Snehlata Shrivastav, TNN)

10-08-2013 | Posted by Admin