Maternal and Newborn Health is a program designed to influence the government to
provide better services for mothers and babies in slum communities.. This programme
also works with women in the community to ensure they access health care.
It partners with the public health system to strengthen primary health care and
to establish a city wide referral system for pregnant mothers across health posts,
maternity homes, small and large hospitals, in order to ensure survival of both
mother and baby.
- 30 health posts are working for changing health seeking behavior of mothers and
- 570 pregnant women attended the feedback meetings conducted at health posts. These
feedback meetings are the informal platform offered to the women to interact with
the providers and seek answers or raise queries with regard to the quality of services
offered to them.
- 20 Health posts are now offering weekly quality ANC clinics.
- 800 staff including doctors, public health nurses, auxiliary nurse midwives and
outreach staff were trained in clinical and behavioral skills
- 3000 pregnant women accessed the antenatal clinics at the health posts
- 30 health posts spread across 9 wards of the city for strengthening the maternal
and neonatal outreach services.
- 24 maternity homes, 9 peripheral hospitals and 3 tertiary hospitals .are involved
in the city level referral network for maternity services
- Clinical Refresher training was organized for all the Health posts covering maternal
and neonatal care topics
CASE STORY - Safer births: Nayna’s Healthy Pregnancy
Thirty year old Nayna, a migrant from Karnataka, is beaming with joy. She is due
to deliver her fifth child in a month’s time. She lives with her extended family
in a one room tenement in Dharavi slum in Mumbai, India. Unlike her previous pregnancies,
this one is healthy and well monitored thanks to the timely guidance of Surekha,
a community health volunteer at the local health post. Working with the Municipal
Corporation of Greater Mumbai and NGO’s SNEHA and Women and Children First, UK Aid
from the Department for International Development has helped 2411 pregnant women
and 2163 newborn babies access ante and post natal care from 29 health posts, in
a slum population of 2,338,969. Community health volunteers support the health posts
by regularly visiting the community and supporting pregnant women to have safer
deliveries. Community health volunteers like Surekha train local women like Nayna
to recognise the danger signs in pregnancy, provide information on where to seek
care, encourage women to visit the health post as early as possible for ante natal
care, tetanus inoculations, calcium, folic acid and iron supplements. Married at
twenty, Nayna fell pregnant within a year. During her first pregnancy she did not
have any ante natal care and nearly died from post -partum bleeding at the birth
of her baby. Pregnancies two and three were similar and during the fourth she was
forced to undergo an abortion because of serious health complications. Because of
these experiences doctors advised her against future pregnancies. With no access
to family planning and pregnant for the fifth time, Nayna was able to access appropriate
care during her pregnancy for the first time - thanks to her community health volunteer
Surekha and with support from the UK Department for International Development. Surekha,
a community health worker says “I am feeling a sort of confidence from inside. I
was working in the community earlier as well but now I can work more effectively
with greater inspiration. Successes such as Nayna inspire me to encourage more and
more women to seek ante natal care” The impact on Nayna’s family and community is
clear. Nayna is now aware of the implications of not seeking the right care at right
time and she feels fit and well. She is no longer anaemic and has more time to rest,
receiving support from her husband and family to take care of her three young children.
She also expressed the desire to pass this knowledge to the other women in her area.