Mother & Child Program
Mother and child are the more vulnerable sections of society. Due to the Indian social structure, women in general are not free to make their own decisions. Especially during pregnancy and more so during delivery, they have to depend upon family members.
This is more common in rural-tribal areas. The picture has started changing in Urban areas where women are independent financially and make their own decisions.
Identifying these needs of the community, MLDT began its community work for Mother and Child.
In 1996 when we began in Rural-Tribal areas of Palghar, Maharashtra, the maternal and fetal mortality rates were high.
Root causes lay in very poor antenatal care and low rate of institutional deliveries. The belief structure, poverty and lack of good infrastructure prevented them from seeking medical care. We noticed that most of the women were anemic and had several complaints during pregnancy which remained untreated.
Check ups of lactating women during the postnatal period and that of neonates was almost non-existent.
Strategies of Interventions:
- Education and orientation: Meetings to increase awareness of the importance of complete antenatal care, institutional delivery and nutritious diet to increase and maintain hemoglobin levels.
- Supplements: Protein and iron supplements to ensure healthy mother and optimum growth of the baby
- Intervention with Homoeopathy: Definition of individual cases for women suffering with other pregnancy induced ailments and administering homeopathic medicines for these ailments
- – Monitoring and follow up to ensure complete antenatal care check ups and trimester appropriate investigations.
- – Taking Medical Mobile Unit (MMU) to the hamlets to provide this service
- – Providing a transportation to the hospital for deliveries
Under the Implementation of IYCF program (Infant and young Child feeding Program):
- Trained Community Health Workers (CHW) make monitoring home visits to lactating mothers and neonates once a month. They educate the mothers about proper breastfeeding techniques and complementary feeding.
- Monitoring of growth of children up to 2 years of age to detect any lag in the growth
- Homeopathic intervention of children below optimal growth curve who are in various grades of malnutrition.
Outcome is reassuring!
- Registration for ANC care and Institutional deliveries have gone up to around 98%.
- Average birth weight has gone from below 2 kgs to 2.6 kgs.
- Anemia during pregnancy has gone down by 30%
- Mortality rates have gone down.
- Malnutrition has improved in 65% of children in the age group of 0 to 2 years.
Thus, progressively, the program has expanded to Anemia screening and treatment in Adolescent girls, Ante & Post Natal Care, and Malnutrition treatment in 0 to 6 year old children.