India has the highest number of maternal deaths in the world with one maternal death every 10 minutes. This adds up to ¼ of the 500,000 maternal deaths that occur worldwide.
A large number of maternal and infant deaths in India are preventable through safe deliveries and adequate maternal care.
Women need to be educated about the benefits and safety of institutional deliveries. 53 percent of women in India do not have institutional deliveries and 50 percent of maternal deaths occur because of hemorrhage and sepsis.
Moreover, 49 percent of pregnant women do not have the 3 antenatal visits and only 46.6 percent receive iron and folic acid for at least 100 days during pregnancy.
This is where Child Survival India (CSI) comes in.
CSI makes maternal and child healthcare services available; educates pregnant women in peri-urban and relocated slum communities about the importance of institutional deliveries; and ensures that pregnant women receive the three antenatal check-ups and postnatal check-ups.
From 2011-2012, CSI’s health programs reached out to over 150,000 people and helped almost one thousand mothers to safely deliver healthy newborn babies.
CSI’s Mobile Health Unit provides quality healthcare facilities to communities in urban slums of North-West Delhi, with a special emphasis on women and child care.
The Mobile Health Unit finds and trains local Health Volunteers to communicating with local hospitals, dispensaries, and etc. to improve services, and advocate behavior changes to improve health, sanitation and hygiene.
CSI’s Mobile Van has a “Fixed Day, Fixed Site schedule” for their mobile health clinic, so that women, adolescent girls and children know when they will be near their area.
Pregnant mothers are identified, receive necessary check-ups, encouraged to have institutional deliveries. Community Health volunteers also help pregnant women acquire government hospital registration to access the benefits of government-run health programs that provide maternal care, or care for women and children.
CSI also instructs women to breastfeed their newborns for six months before beginning to feed them, and to weigh their kids monthly from birth to two years of age.
Any kids identified by CSI to be malnourished will be given a full-check-up and their mothers are sent to a meeting led by CSI’s Health Volunteers to learn how to ensure their child receives all the necessary nutrients. These mothers are also taught about the need to immunize infants, and the importance of personal hygiene, as well as water sanitation.
CSI educates the community through a variety of events. Community women manage Suraksha Haat’s to distribute contraceptive pills, condoms, and Iron & Folic Acid tablets. Street plays that discuss various health issues in the communities are performed. The cultural singing and dancing that accompanies Godh-Barai (Baby Shower) are used to spread messages about maternal and child health.
From 2011-2012, 29, 577 people participated in educational health meetings held by CSI.
– Kasey Beduhn
Source: Impatient Optimists, Child Survival India,
Child Survival India, Child Survival India, Child Survival India