COVID-19 has stressed out all routine Government health programs. It was time for us to adapt to the changing times!
We at CareMother, along with Larsen and Toubro Public Charitable Trust,
routinely provide antenatal care to tribal women in Talasari, who live in huge
disadvantages of cost, time, and distance. We serve pregnant women by our
‘doorstep’ care model, frontline workers, and real-time decisions via a smartphone application.
However, since routine antenatal services are closed down, and ANMs and ASHAs are busy in COVID screening, we brainstormed all possible ways to maintain a constant flow of services to pregnant women in this difficult terrain.
- A critical piece of antenatal care (ANC) is tetanus (TT) vaccination.
When ‘full’ ANC coverage in India is only 32% as quoted in the latest national health survey (NFHS-5), one can imagine the pressure of maintaining coverage in such hard times in a tribal area! So, we started listing the sub-center wise numbers of high-risk pregnant women, with pending vaccination of TT-1 and TT-2, and who were expecting delivery soon (in the following month), so that the newborn does not acquire the deadly disease (tetanus).
- We could obtain this information thanks to our back-end data (Cloud) and prior information entered by health workers in the CareMother application.
Empowered with this list, we contacted our local NGO partner and the Talasari Health department and they coordinated with the under-pressure ANMs and ASHAs to ensure that these vaccinations, at a minimum, are provided to women approaching their delivery dates. We played our part in their truly safe deliveries, and would continue these efforts!
- We believe that COVID-19 need not and should not interrupt routine antenatal services.
More so when pregnant women need good health and nutrition to boost immunity and fight all infections. We know that this is directly linked to a healthy baby, and it is our responsibility as a powerful digital platform to put all possible efforts to continue antenatal care.
Context: Talasari is a tribal municipal council in Palghar district of Maharashtra, touching the Gujarat border, just 140 km from Mumbai. CareMother program, with LTPCT and Zilla Parishad’s Health Department, started with two primary health centers (PHCs) to cover 1500 pregnancies, and in 2019, it has expanded to four PHCs to serve 3000 pregnancies, so far.