The Maternal and Newborn Health Program currently focuses on two aspects of maternal
- Improving access in order to care for pregnant mothers in vulnerable slum communities.
- Building responsive public healthcare systems that provide quality maternal care.
How We Work
Our model aims to impact maternal and new born health in the urban areas, and adopts
a two pronged strategy :
At the systems level, to improve the quality of care by facilitating initiation
of quality antenatal clinics at health posts, the development and implementation
of emergency obstetric referral protocols and coordinating periodic referral meetings
to resolve inter facility bottlenecks in the management of emergency obstetric cases.
At the community level, to bring about behaviour change in pregnant women with the
use of targeted communication and engagement strategies.
We work with the Municipal corporation of Mumbai and the Municipal corporations
of Kalyan - Dombivali, Mira - Bhayander and Thane.
The Maternal and Newborn Program of SNEHA has recently received a grant by the World
Heath Organization, under the call for proposals announced by the Implementation
Research Platform, World Health Organization. The proposal has been selected for
funding for two years after a rigorous process of screening of around 500 entries
received from all over the globe. As part of the selection process, Sushma Shende,
Program Director Maternal and Newborn Health and Dr Shanti Pantvaidya, Executive
Director (Programs) attended a five day workshop on designing implementation research
study protocols in Montreux, Switzerland between 21st and 26th
Won ICICI CNBC India Inclusive Award for strengthening primary health care for pregnant
The system of referral slips in the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai introduced
into the public health system by SNEHA became increasingly well adopted by the doctors
of partnering facilities, with the rate of fully documented referral cases increasing
by 23 percentage points over the previous year (2011 : 34%,
2012 : 57%) thus helping better management of High Risk cases.
As an innovative approach to sustain referral meetings in the health system, Continuing
Medical Education session linked referral meetings were introduced into Mumbai's
Western regional referral link (covering 10 public healthcare facilities) and Central
Eastern regional referral link (covering13 public healthcare facilities).
Partnership has been established with Kalyan - Dombivali, Mira - Bhayander and Thane
Municipal Corporations to strengthen the public maternal care, which will cover
up to 56 public health facilities. Mira - Bhayander Municipal Corporation has already
SNEHA's documentation format records referrals of high risk pregnant mothers from
public Health Posts (primary care centres) to larger hospitals.
Between May 2012 and March 2013, efforts were made to increase the uptake of free
antenatal care services offered through 29 MCGM Health Posts by the residents of
communities defined as 'vulnerable slum pockets'.
- 8,020 Behavior Change Communication (BCC) home visits were made during this period,
through which pregnant women in vulnerable slum pockets received health advice according
to their months of pregnancy and were encouraged to seek check ups in facilities.
- Nine community awareness campaigns, reaching out to approximately 2,250 general
population in the vulnerable slum pockets, were held during the same period, as
well as 21 health information exhibitions where direct dialogues were held with
204 pregnant women were also conducted.
A preliminary analysis indicates that, in 5 out of 29 MCGM Health Posts partnering
with SNEHA, there has been a consistent increase in the utilization of their antenatal
care (ANC) clinics by pregnant women from vulnerable slum pockets. 235 pregnant
women from vulnerable slum pockets registered at these five ANC clinics during the
last three months of the fiscal year (January - March 2013), as compared to 53 during
the first three months of the community intervention (May - July 2012).
Read our "Stories of Change"