Assam: Srimanta Sankaradeva University of Health Sciences in Assam has recently done collaboration with Oxford University, UK on the subject of Mother and Child Health. The purpose was to conduct a research in the field of mother and child health, and therefore, bring eminent changes in the maternal morbidity in Assam.
Professor UC Sarma, Vice-Chancellor of Srimanta Sankaradeva University of Health Sciences confirmed the news and in addition implied that this pilot project is aimed to establish an Indian Obstetrics Surveillance and Research System in the State of Assam (IndOSSAssam). This is the first stage of the project, which at broad is targeted at understanding the feasibility of setting up a simple system, for conducting surveillance of maternal morbidity. This in turn, will help in comprehending the trends regarding incidents of life-threatening conditions during pregnancy. More specifically to understand the reported incidents of specific and severe conditions.
Under IndOSSAssam, there were four steps taken to initiate the study. The first step involved to set up a steering committee, setting for the region, followed by mapping of surveillance sites and to pilot case-notification systems in selected centres.
Two scientific papers have been published in April 8, 2016 as a part of the initial study conducted. The papers have been released in the issue of BMJ (British Medical Journal) Global Health. They were based on the study materials provided by five medical colleges of Assam, i.e., Gauhati Medical College and Hospital, Guwahati; Assam Medical College and Hospital, Dibrugarh; Silchar Medical College and Hospital, Silchar; FAA Medical College and Hospital, Barpeta and Jorhat Medical College and Hospital, Jorhat.
UK has been following a successful model for implementation of its Surveillance and Research System, the UK Surveillance System (UKOSS). It enabled collecting and collating anonymous information on many uncommon factors which lead to severe pregnancy complications. The survey is conducted on a nation-wide basis.
“The aim of this project was to assess the feasibility of establishing a simple obstetrics surveillance and research system in Assam (the Indian Obstetrics Surveillance System – Assam (IndOSS-Assam) using the UKOSS model in order to describe the changing epidemiology of risk factors, management and outcomes associated with maternal deaths and specific morbidities in the state. IndOSS-Assam has two components: surveillance and research,” Professor Sarma said to the media.
According to BMJ Journal, India has the highest number of maternal deaths worldwide (50 000 maternal deaths in 2013), and within India, the north-eastern state of Assam has a high maternal mortality ratio (MMR=301/100 000 live births in 2012–2013), higher than the national average (MMR=178/100 000 live births in 2010–2012.