SNEHA's Maternal and Newborn Health (MNH) program seeks to improve pregnancy care
for low-income women by working with both the public healthcare system and the communities.
Working with the public healthcare system: works with public hospitals
to map and establish referral networks and promote appropriate care for women with
potential complications. SNEHA also collaborates with municipal health posts to
standardize primary ante and post-natal services and build capacity of their outreach
Educating vulnerable slum communities: Through home visits, community
meetings, and formation of community health committees, SNEHA engages pregnant mothers
and their families to promote utilization of public services for mothers and newborns
and improve their knowledge of ante- and post-natal danger signs, maternal nutrition,
appropriate child feeding practice, and family planning methods.
Impact to Date
Over the last five years (2009 - 2014),
- Assisted at least 21,401 pregnant women with potential complications through SNEHA-initiated
- Reached out to nearly 4,458 pregnant women through home visits, providing periodic
counselling during pregnancy and after childbirth.
- Trained over 3,000 public healthcare providers (cumulative) on clinical aspects
of maternal and neonatal care and effective communication.
- Trained over 2,900 government outreach workers (cumulative) to address maternal
and neonatal health in communities.
- Recognized as official partner of the State Government of Maharashtra and Municipal
Corporations of Greater Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan Dombivali and Mira Bhayander.
- Appointed as NGO representative on the committee for implementation of Pre-Conception
and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act in Mira Bhayander.
The MNH program uses Appreciative Inquiry approach to facilitate positive changes
within public healthcare systems. It works simultaneously with slum communities
to create a base of well-informed healthcare users who constantly demand higher
From the Field
Sushila, 40, suffers from dwarfism and has a mentally challenged son. She was 5
months into her second pregnancy when her sister-in-law told her to undergo an abortion,
thinking that her next child will also be mentally challenged. SNEHA's field worker
met Sushila and her sister-in-law, explained the risk of abortion in the 5th month,
and urged Sushila to receive antenatal checkups. When the field worker found it
difficult to convince Sushila and her family, she sought the help of her colleagues
to persuade them. Finally, the field worker managed to get Sushila to visit a public
hospital, where the doctor informed her that the child was going to be perfectly
normal. Due to her short stature, the doctor referred Sushila to a tertiary center
of care for delivery, where she delivered a healthy boy. SNEHA saved yet another