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Oxfam India helping mothers deliver healthy babies
Naureen Khan, Oxfam India
According to a government scheme study in 2016-17, 550,000 women in India (mostly above 30 years of age) were found to be going through high-risk pregnancies. Regular monitoring and Ante Natal Care (ANC) check-ups are crucial to reduce the risk during pregnancy.
Oxfam India conducts training programs in Chhattisgarh for all the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) workers as per government guidelines. One of the topics covered during the training is on reducing high-risk pregnancy. The training program helped workers to build a better understanding of the various complications related to pregnancy and ways to keep both mother and child healthy pre and post-delivery. Poonam was one of many pregnant women who was diagnosed with high-risk pregnancy.
Poonam got married at a young age and soon gave birth to a baby girl in a village in Chhattisgarh. Then for nearly 18 years, she was unable to conceive a child until now. Poonam in her late 30s got pregnant with her second child. During her first ANC visit, she was diagnosed with high-risk pregnancy and was counselled about the risk.
Oxfam India’s Role
An Oxfam trained MCH worker was assigned to regularly visit her house in between ANC check-ups as she frequently fell ill. She was strictly advised to deliver the baby in the hospital. The Village Health Workers (VHW) who were also part of the Oxfam India’s training program, were informed about Poonam’s condition. They were told to assist her during an emergency.
When Poonam’s labour pain started, she was rushed to the hospital and soon delivered a healthy baby boy. After the third day of discharge, her breast milk reduced and the baby was unable to receive sufficient milk. Both MCH worker and VHW arranged a top feed (milk formula) for the baby in consultation with the doctor. A MCH worker regularly visited Poonam’s house to check the health status of both the mother and the baby.
Strengthening health workers in marginalized communities
Poonam and her baby have regained their health which is an example of constant and sustained engagement by Oxfam India’s project team. Oxfam India facilitates regular capacity building training through partner organizations to these project team members to help the community live a better life. Oxfam helps the project team members learn about various skills and spread awareness about healthcare. The learning of such processes is then weaved into advocacy processes to make the change sustainable.
People like you make it possible
When generous people like you donate to Oxfam India, we are able to provide training to community members, spread awareness among people- especially the marginalized communities about their rights and empower them to raise their voice for their basic necessities. People like you help us enable our work on the ground and together we can change lives and spread awareness. We can urge the government on effective implementation of government health schemes, the availability of affordable health care services and medicines in Public Health Centres (PHCs) and government hospitals and the allocation of higher public health expenditure.
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