This project improves the health of mothers and children in the Pakur district of Jharkhand state in India by improving access to and use of maternal, newborn and child health services. Working with local and state governments, the project is designed to enhance services delivered by the Health and Family Welfare Department and the Ministry of Women and Child Development. Project activities include: (i) training community health workers and families in antenatal, postnatal and newborn care, nutrition, and safe pregnancy and delivery practices; (ii) promoting immunization and raising awareness of how to prevent and treat malaria, respiratory infections, and diarrhea; and (iii) promoting shared decision-making on maternal, newborn and child health at the household level. The project expects to reach over 1,100 health workers and 600 village health and sanitation committees, as well as over 280,000 women of reproductive age and their husbands and more than 56,000 pregnant women. HealthBridge Foundation of Canada is working in partnership with the Evangelical Fellowship of India Commission on Relief to implement this project. This project is part of Canada’s Maternal, Newborn and Child Health commitment. The maximum CIDA contribution to this project includes $10,000 for monitoring purposes.
Results achieved as of the end of the project (March 2015) include: (1) the decision making power of women increased due to their greater access to information; (2) over 142,350 women of reproductive age and their husbands, and 31,861 pregnant women were reached by improving access to and use of maternal, newborn and child health services; (3) 2,465 community health workers were trained to provide nutritional counselling, growth monitoring, prenatal check-ups, safe pregnancy and delivery, postnatal and newborn care and infectious disease prevention and treatment; (4) the proportion of health centers with adequate supplies of essential drugs increased; (5) the capacity of 600 Village Health Sanitation and Nutrition Committees was strengthened, and 50% of these committees now have a Village Health Plan; (6) nutrition practices have improved in Pakur district: the proportion of infants exclusively breast-fed increased by 38%, and the proportion of children who were fed appropriately increased by 31%; (7) the proportion of births taking place in a health institution and assisted by a skilled birth attendant increased by more than 40%; (8) the proportion of mothers who received postnatal care within two days of child birth increased by 22%.