Through our various interventions launched along with our NGO partners, we aim at encouraging a positive health seeking behaviour among pregnant women and mothers with infants, and caregivers towards right nutrition; including good hygiene practices and ensuring complete immunization for children. We believe a true impact can be made through the approach of staying with the woman from the time she is married to when her child is of five years of age. Thus we have staged interventions at each crucial phase of a child and mother’s life.
For any intervention to be successful and reap productive results effective ties with the government representatives is crucial. We organize training programs for Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI) members, frontline health workers, paramedical staff, medical officials, anganwadi workers and skilled birth attendants on issues relating to maternal and child health. They in turn use this training to further the impact of their own work in the area. This also helps to drive an inclusive approach for child health
This intervention aims at young couples and serves as a platform for them to gain the right information on reproductive health, safe pregnancy, use of contraceptives, and parenthood counselling sessions.
We organize health camps to address the immediate health care needs of our supported communities. Through these camps a comprehensive approach is taken where both promotion and prevention of health issues are given equal importance while curative care is administered. The Health camps are organized in collaboration with the local health care departments.
While provision of health care facilities is the first step towards building a healthy society, it is important to ensure that it is not the only step. For any intervention to sustain and bring about substantial results it needs to be supplemented with additional measures as well. We believe that one such powerful tool to reach out to the people is in the form of Behavior Change Communications (BCC). Various BCC campaigns in the form of exhibitions, sensitization & awareness programs, poster displays, Wall comics, focused group discussions, role plays and street plays are employed to create awareness about issues on child health.The basic aim of BCC is to sensitize the community on health issues in such a way that they start adopting better practices for overall wellness.
In order to spread awareness regarding health and wellbeing it is important to educate and encourage reading on appropriate health related practices in the communities. With this intention we have set up health libraries which offer various health related reference materials. It is a novel concept initiated through our peer educators by setting up libraries in the communities.
In order to ensure long term impact of our interventions identifying women from within the community to act as peer educators. These peer educators are equipped with the required basic knowledge on issues of malnutrition and child and maternal health. They further conduct focused training programs or workshops for women in the community. This not only helps in increasing the reach of the intervention among the community, but also serves as an avenue further discussions and actions within the community.
Customized calendars which have the dates of every new born child’s vaccinations schedule are maintained in the panchayats, anganwadis and the village sub-centers in our supported villages. This tool served as an effective reminder to the communities.
As part of the project, we developed some simple but impactful tools to encourage community members to adopt best practices for tracking the nutrition status of the children. Colour beads are an innovative way of monitoring malnutrition. It consists of multiple colour beads which provide a visual representation of the child’s health status: Green indicates ‘healthy’ while red represents ‘malnourished’.
Many a times, women are unable to go to work and earn a living for themselves due to responsibilities associated with having a child. This problem particularly affects daily wage labourers as most of the times their work places are not child friendly. Such a problem in turn acts as a direct economic deterrent. In order to solve this problem we have initiated this innovative programme of community crèches. The children are provided with three meals to meet the nutrition and micronutrients requirements. The crèche worker acts as a foster mother and engages children in play, personal hygiene, rest and medication when required.
Another key initiative is transforming the existing anganwadis into child friendly anganwadis by equipping them with substantial number of toys, recreational materials and pre scholl teaching – learning materials in the aboriginal korku language. This has also helped to ensure maximum attendance and tracking services such as supplementary nutrition and immunization.
In order to make nutrition readily available, we started a unique initiative of Backyard Nutrition Gardens. Beneficiaries are encouraged to grow vegetables in polypropylene sacks in close proximity of their homes. This enables direct intake of micronutrients for malnourished children. We have found that this resourceful initiative has benefited landless families.
Scarce infrastructure poses a big threat to service accessibility. We provide ambulatory care to the remotest forest based villages which do not have accessibility to proper health care. It runs 5 days a week to attend to the children with Severe Acute Malnourishment (SAM) condition who are identified and referred to the nutritional rehabilitation centre. This has helped to bridge the gap between the available medical infrastructure and the villagers. Our Ambulatory Care team is also involved in growth monitoring of identified cases, mothers’ counselling and organizing puppet shows to spread awareness on issues of sanitation.
We undertake regular home visits and counseling programs The idea is to explain the purpose behind the interventions and making the members of the community aware of the benefits associated with the same. Apart from that they are also counseled on various health related topics like nutrition intake and benefits of breastfeeding. Such sessions are a mandatory program undertaken as a part of all our interventions across all locations.