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Dec 29, 2017

Healthcare Awareness Saves Lives

Naureen Khan & Health Campaign Team, Oxfam India

When Matoran Khatoon’s 30-year-old daughter went into labour, an ambulance was hard to find.
Matoran, 45-years-old, lives with her two daughters in Bhusauladanapur village, 20 km away from state capital Patna, Bihar. Her husband left the family 15 years ago. She works as a maid to run her house. Her eldest daughter, Baby Khatoon stayed at her mother’s home in the last month of her pregnancy. When Baby went into labour, the ambulance did not arrive on time. Matoran had to manage a private vehicle to take her daughter to the hospital. Soon, her daughter was admitted to a Public Health Center (PHC) and was prescribed some medicines. The medicines cost her Rs 1,000. 

As Matoran had attended awareness and healthcare workshops conducted by Oxfam India, she had known about the free availability of medicines and services at PHC which is provided by the government. But the medicine was unavailable and she had to buy it from a private medical store. Soon, her daughter gave birth to a girl. When the Auxiliary Nurse Midwife, a healthcare worker and an ambulance driver (who took them home after delivery) demanded money for service and sweets, Matoran being aware of her health entitlement refused to pay. 

Matoran in her village is now a member of Khatoon Majlis, a federation to “Improve health and nutrition status for Dalit and Muslims especially women and children” in Phulwari Sharif block of Patna. Through Oxfam India and partner organizations’ various workshops and awareness programs, Matoran is now able to raise her voice for healthcare services and actively participates in various healthcare activities conducted in her village. She is a role model for a number of community members especially for women who visit government hospital to receive health services.

In case you wish to make a monthly contribution to help women like Matoran receive affordable healthcare, please click here,

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