Swasthya Jananni Sudrudh Balak is a project run by Amhi Amchya Arogyasaathi in 9 slums of Nagpur in which women’s groups work to improve maternal and neonatal health
Location: City of Nagpur, Maharashtra.
The Project: Maternal and Neonatal Health care in the slums of Nagpur.
The NGO: Amhi Amachaya Arogyasathi.
Supporting AID Chapters: Seattle, Philadelphia, Morgantown
Amount Funded: $16500
Volunteer Contact: surisavani [at] gmail.com, AID-Morgantown
Nagpur, often referred to as the emerging tier-II city of india, stands testimony to the stark reality of housing the fourth largest slum population in the country. Nearly 36% of its people live in slums. Slums in India have turned into centers where diseases, pollution, and unsanitary living conditions co-occur. The poor environmental conditions (open sewer, contaminated water) coupled with high population density make them a major reservoir for a wide spectrum of adverse health conditions including delivery-related complications, postpartum morbidity, etc.
This project aims to improve maternal and neonatal health care in the slums of Nagpur. Amhi Amachaya Arogyasathi, a Nagpur based NGO, through their project “Swasthya Jananni Sudrudh Balak” (Mother and Neonatal Health Care) cover 9 slums with a total population of 51,942. Their focus is:
To minimize Neonatal and Maternal Morbidity (NMR and MMR) to achieve the millennial goals of the health indicators.
To increase the cumulative Neonatal Health and Maternal Health index (based on parameter of registration, Ante-natal care checkups, Institutional deliveries and Janani Suraksha Yojna) in the region.
To increase the functionality of (Quantitative and Qualitative) community support structures like Community Health Committees and Emergency Health Funds.
The project involves various training and activities to engage and bring awareness in the community. Some examples are as follows:
- Training women health workers – Health workers, one from each 2500 to 3000 people from same community are being trained on mother and neonatal care. The health worker monitors the health of mothers (prenatal and postnatal conditions), diagnoses the high-risk problems and refers them to proper health facilities. Such 17 health workers are currently chosen for training for the health care of 50000 urban slum populations.
- Organizing events to discuss/ promote awareness on women’s’ rights, social development, sexual harassment at work place, exploitation of children etc.
- Campaign to “save the girl child”- In this program individual slum person who has taken an active role in “save the girl child” is awarded. Couples participating in family planning after two female children are awarded. Poster exhibition, drawing contest on the theme of save the girl child during Ganesh festival of Navaratri are organized.
- Male partners meeting- Creating awareness among male partners and husbands on safe motherhood, neonatal health care, information on HIV causes and prevention, importance of family planning etc.
Capacity building training of staff
- Women create health funds which are used by them exclusively for reproductive issues
- The campaign on ‘save the girl child’ has shown positive results in the past 3 years. Reduction in male-female ratio amongst new born infants (1000M/984F this year vs previous year ratio of 1000M/911F)
- With Arogyasakhi’s efforts “still birth” rates reduced from 18.4 in 2011-2012 to 12.7 in 2012-2013
- Maternal mortality has gone down to 115 in 2012-2013 from 325 in the previous years.
- In their first year of intervention (2011-2012) neonatal mortality rate went down to 18. It further went down to 16 in 2012-2013 (total birth-866). All neonatal deaths were in the hospital. 96% of the deliveries now occur in hospitals.
- Neonatal death in the Government hospitals is not under this NGO’s control. These deaths are mainly due to mismanagement in the hospital, carelessness and uncleanliness. The NGO is trying to advocate these issues with management of these hospitals and the State Government.