Improving Maternal & Child Health is one of the Sustainable Development Goal and a vital component towards achieving Continuum of Care. Gujarat has made considerable progress over the last decade in Maternal and Child Health by providing accessible qualitative health services especially for rural areas, out reached areas and the poor but are still behind than its neighbouring states in terms of IMR and MMR.
The pregnant women belonging to tribal, rural, and urban slums, financially weaker families often get admitted to the government/ trust run hospital in emergency. They rarely come prepared and often face problem after delivering the baby. The newborn and the mother face problems due to unavailability of the post-delivery requirements.
United Way of Baroda and Shri Lalitbhai Patel Foundation initiated the Shishu Kit Project in the year 2017-18 on International Safe Motherhood Day with an aim to promote quality care of mother and child after delivery. The initiative fulfils the post-delivery requirements of the mother and the newborn baby in the form of Shishu kit and aware for well-being of new mothers and child. The program was chaired by Mayor and Dignitaries from UWB and Lalitbhai Foundation along with Hospital Superintendent and Dean.
Under the project each mother is provided with a shishu kit which comprises of 22 items including baby clothes, baby wrap towel, plastic mattress, mother gown, sanitary napkins, health awareness, leaflet, iron, and calcium tablets etc in a useful waterproof bag.
The new mothers are also counselled through special post-delivery Behaviour Change Communication sessions where the mothers are sensitized about post-partum depressions, techniques of breast feeding, nutrition, immunization, family planning, stress release and various other parameters by Subject Expert. This helps those women who are unaware of the post-delivery condition of the body and able to take care of themselves and their child.
The project currently caters to 5 Government and Trust run hospitals of Vadodara and Anand district of Gujarat. Till now, the project has catered to more than 15,827 women. More thhant 10,000 new-borns are treated by the donated machines. Project has helped to clothe the baby and helped the indigent women making a huge difference during postpartum period. The hospital caters to women patients from nearby 30 districts of Gujarat state and three neighbouring state Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh. It is observed that 85.4% women are of the age between 19-25 years and 84.3% are illiterate or just have primary education when they had come for delivery.
The Project also caters to Udaan Livelihood program to provide livelihood to differently abled beneficiaries. The shishu kits are prepared by differently abled students residing at Special Education Centre based in Vadodara who works for upliftment of these children. Training has been imparted. The students prepare the kits by themselves and timely, laminate the IEC material, facilitate for dispensing the kits to hospitals and maintain stock and earn their livelihood.
Apart from shishu kit, they also prepare education kits for all orphan and single parent students studying in government schools of Vadodara which is funded by United Way of Baroda since last 15 years. Thus, the Udaan livelihood program has boosted their moral and confidence and provide a platform to learn and earn.
Raela Mukesh Rathwa is a resident of Pavagadh, Panchmahal district. Her husband works in an industry nearby as a labourer with mediocre income. She had only come with a blanket and a shawl. She received the Shishu Kit as soon as she gave birth which helped her a lot because she did not have the money to buy new clothes for the baby. She expressed gratitude towards UWB and thanked them for their initiative.
Shetani Sursinh Bhuyyiya is a resident of Khetia Village of Madhya Pradesh and works as daily wager in Jarod Village of Vadodara district. Shetani is a 40-year-old woman who gave birth to a baby boy after giving birth to 7 girl children. Family pressure for a boy led her to go through the pregnancy torment time again. Shetani had bare minimum clothes on herself let alone for the baby as she and her husband work as daily wage labourers and as most of their earning goes to tend to the needs of their 7 girl children. Shishu kit came as a boon for her child and herself as she did not have any pair of clothes for her baby and no sources to arrange. The mild smile and tears on her face was observed when she received the kit and had no words to express her pain and gratitude.
Aafrin Ansar Sheikh is a 30-year-old. Her husband is differently abled and cannot speak or hear. He earns near to 6000 per month. While she was pregnant, she was worried about her post-delivery requirements as she had barely managed to feed her six children. When she received the Shishu kit after her delivery she was extremely happy. She expressed her heartfelt gratitude that she was given the kit as it will help her to keep her baby warm in the cold rainy season.
Beneficiary of Gotir
Words of appreciation from our affiliate’s hospital, “Baby kits so distributed to poor mothers in turn strengthen our efforts to offer compassionate health-care to our patients and send them home with a smile on their face!” – says MS Sayed, General Manager, Charutar Arogya Mandal, Anand, Gujarat.