"One lady delivered twin baby girls yesterday around 7 pm at home. The family did not inform about the deliveries to the Aangawadi or ASHA worker…….. The ASHA said, “it is a 7th-month delivery and the babies are very weak. The mother is afraid of touching the infants as they are very small and did not give milk properly to them.” I quickly visited the house and checked the infants; they were lying outside in open with the mother as it is their custom to keep newborn children and mother outside for a month. It was very sad to see the infants out in open and cold for the entire night with no proper clothing. Went close to the infants, they were looking very serious and had very low birth weight. …. Also, one of the baby’s hands and foot were swallowed. There was no movement of the other and seem to have stopped breathing and the body was cold…….
Quickly got them to the hospital, and admitted in the emergency ward. The doctor noticed no activity of both the infants now, I told her that 20 minutes ago one (of the kids) was breathing. The doctor tried her best but…... Both the baby girls died!! 🙁
I got to know that a traditional tribal healer came to their house and he did some rituals for babies health. The father later came to the hospital and said I was celebrating the birth of twin girls!!"
Just 20 minutes and we would have saved a life. Had they known the importance of delivery in a hospital or had they immediately taken the babies to hospital…the situation would have been different.” says Piyush Goel, our Executive Director, Health Initiatives finding it very hard to digest the situation.
Home deliveries and/or not following a few healthy practices during the initial days of a child’s birth are taking away many kids’ lives before they reach the age of 5. It also leaves many children malnourished for entire life which effects both physical & mental development.
Child deaths & malnourishment has been a critical issue in tribal regions of India.
I Do is a for-impact organisation working to prevent child deaths in tribal regions. Our team comprises of PMRDFs, alumni of BITS-Pilani, public health and development professionals passionate about tribal development. Our team profiles can be accessed here.
Our team has been working in Jhapra gram panchayat (a total of 3 villages) of Sukma district, Chhattisgarh along with the government to address the issues of malnutrition.
1) Identifying the SAM (Severely Acute Malnourished) Children in the communities & admitting them in NRC (Nutrition Rehabilitation Center).
2) Follow up with the families post discharge from NRC to ensure that the kids get nourished soon.
3) Giving critical knowledge through videos to the mothers & communities on the best practices of infant/early child care etc. by training a local village woman.
4) Creating interesting videos in local tribal languages.
5) Developing Android Apps to monitor the usage of the videos.
NRPs for SAM children: We are in the process of identifying and building capacities of local resources through technical and field training. The local resources called Nutrition Resource Persons (NRPs) will have knowledge on essential nutrition for both mothers and children. NRPs will ensure identifying SAM children, convincing families and assisting them for admission in NRC. Furthermore ensuring children stay in NRC for the required period and later proper follow-ups happen with the doctor. Once a child returns to the village, keeping a track on their growth. Swaasthya Saathis for creating awareness: We impart knowledge about the best practices during child’s birth through videos. The videos are loaded in a 7” tablet which will be used by a trained local woman (Swasthya Saathi) to give knowledge at door step to the entire community. An android app is used for tracking the performance of the village worker through auto-generated reports.