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Indian J Community Med. 2018 Jul-Sep;43(3):175-179. doi: 10.4103/ijcm.IJCM_280_17.

Knowledge and Skills of Ayurvedic and Homeopathic Practitioners to Provide Skilled Birth Attendance in India: An Observational Study.

Author information

Division of RBMCH, Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi, India.
Global Best Practices, Medtronic Foundation and Global Health Leaders Program, Public Health Institute, Oakland, CA, USA.
Professor (Retired), Department of Obst and Gynae, BJ Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India.



To overcome the dearth of trained skilled birth attendants, mainstreaming of doctors from the alternative systems of medicine has been adopted by some states in India.


The objectives of the study were to explore the adequacy of knowledge and clinical skills of AYUSH practitioners (APs) (ayurvedic and homeopathic) engaged by the state governments to provide maternity care services, with a view to identify gaps if any, and to suggest measures for improvement.

Materials and Methods:

A cross-sectional observational study was conducted in three states of India (Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Odisha). The APs were assessed for (a) knowledge of essential obstetric care and identification and management of complications of pregnancy and (b) clinical skills during provision of antenatal and postnatal care (PNC) and during the conduct of deliveries. Adequate knowledge or skill demonstration was defined as a score of 70% or more.


A total of 109 APs engaged in 37 peripheral level facilities were assessed. Nearly 76% of APs had adequate theoretical knowledge of essential obstetric care and identification and management of complications of pregnancy. Most APs demonstrated adequate skills while providing antenatal care but were deficient in taking past history and counseling pregnant women for danger signs during pregnancy and childbirth. APs in Maharashtra and Rajasthan had adequate skills for conducting vaginal deliveries but performed poorly in Odisha. Skills for resuscitation of newborn were deficient. Skills for providing PNC were adequate only among APs in Maharashtra.


Through provision of appropriate in-service training and an enabling environment, APs may be a useful human resource for providing maternity care in the primary health-care settings in India.


Ayurvedic and homeopathic practitioners; India; clinical skills; knowledge; skilled birth attendance

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