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Jharkhand government’s initiative ensures access to maternal healthcare to expecting mothers in rural areas

Ranchi, Jharkhand  | February  | 08, 2021 ::

Improving maternal health in Jharkhand with the help of ANC check-ups through government-provided digital ANC kits

Pilot project records positive results in Ranchi, other districts to follow

Being an economically weaker state, a sizeable proportion of its population resides in rural areas, often in extreme conditions. The need to ensure access to better health facilities has been long felt. The incumbent government of Jharkhand has taken a series of steps to improve the situation of the health sector at large in the state. Health is a priority sector for the government.The measures began with ensuring availibility of the best maternal healthcare facilities are accessible to all the women in the state.

A pilot project for equipping ANMs with a Digital ANC kit has been implemented. In the pilot project, more than 300 ANMs from Ranchi have been equipped with a Digital ANC kit and different Aanganwadi centers have been identified . The government is planning to equip all the ANMs with the Digital ANC kit and improve maternal health figures in the State.

This innovative step taken by the government has started yielding positive results. It is not only helping in reducing infant mortality rate, malnutrition & anemia. the number of ANC registration in the District has also recorded a rise.

*How the kit is helping bring the change

With the use of the Digital kit provided by the government, ANMs are now able to conduct ANC check-ups. It is helping the rural women get the right feedback & take necessary steps to keep themselves healthy.

In the pilot project implemented in Ranchi District, the kit bag provided to the ANMs consists of an Infant & Adult Weighing machine, Digital Haemoglobin meter, Digital BP Monitor, and a fetal doppler. Equipping ANMs with ANC kit has made it easy to identify high-risk pregnancies and also help in providing quality health check-ups to pregnant women. Apart from this, The Digital Haemoglobin meter is helping in the identification of anaemic mothers.

Hand holding training & motivation sessions were organized for the ANMs to use the kit and motivate women from rural areas to get all 4 ANC checkups done.

*Convergence of Aanganwadi centers & strengthening of ANMs for bringing the change

Apart from equipping and strengthening the ground force, the government is also conducting a few pilot projects to check for improvement in the comfort levels experienced by expecting mothers and increase the number of ANC registrations. To ensure this, more than 300 Aanganwadi centers in Ranchi District have been provided with an examination table & a three-fold green screen with the help of the CSR funds. This has been named the ANC corner.

On every VHSND(Village Health Sanitization & Nutrition Day) ANMs with the help of Sahiyas ensure that all the expecting mothers arrive at the Aanganwadi center and get their check-ups done. Installation of ANC corner is now proving to be a mobilization factor, Says an ANM from Namkum.

“Earlier in the absence of an examination table, it was difficult for us to do the check-up but now it has become easier and convenient. It also helped in creating a comfortable environment for pregnant ladies coming for check-ups. These days we can see better turn out as compared to the past”, Said Mukta Bakhla deputed in Horhab HSC of Namkum block in Ranchi.

*Importance of ANC check-up in improving women & child care

Ante-Natal Care and treatment of Anaemia cases among women form major aspects of maternal health care. The goal is to provide regular check-ups that allow doctors or ANMs to treat and prevent potential health problems throughout the pregnancy and help promote healthy lifestyles. Such practices benefit both mother and child.

Based on such a check-up, expecting mothers are provided with the respective feedback and recommendations regarding changes required in their diet and lifestyle. This not only helps in the identification of anemic mothers but also helps in detecting the health condition of the fetus.

This new tradition of regular ANC check-ups among the rural population is now helping in reducing the frequency of maternal death, miscarriages, birth defects, low birth weight, neonatal infections, and other preventable health problems.

*Govt plans to implement this project across Jharkhand

The government plans to implement this project in every district of the State, many districts have already started working on the same. The government believes that a project like this type will bring down malnutrition cases, infant mortality, maternal death dramatically and help eradicate anemia

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