One Step towards Sustainibility

My last blog was about one of my random field experience and this one too comes out of that randomness. The whole concept of this Home Based Newborn Care (HBNC) is based on the fact that most of the causes of neonatal death in remote areas are preventive, controllable and reversible. Thus strengthening the knowledge and skills of community health worker and dissemination of knowledge among the community is the whole idea behind my project. Busting out the myths with the light of awareness and facts is the initiation taken up by my organisation.

A few days ago I heard about this incident and went to meet the family members and the little princess whose life was saved by the commendable efforts of the Sahiyya (health activist of the village) and the MNHM (Maternal and Newborn Health Mobilizer; community health worker) of MANSI. I was overwhelmed with the satisfaction and happiness of the family and most importantly they admitted the importance of care need to be taken and all the counselling which was given by the Sahiyya and MNHM and promised to follow all the necessary steps taken for the second child. Probably MANSI will not be there for their second child (last year of its running) but the efforts and the messages will remain in that village among these community people and this is most important in terms of the sustainability.

Bundu is one of the villages of Seraikella with tough terrain and lack of health facilities. Early age marriage is a common site in this village and Sonam Purti is among those who got married at an early age of 17.  Bundu is her mother’s village and as a common ritual in this area she came to her mother’s house to deliver her first child. On 04/12/2012 the labour pain starts at 10:30 pm and Priyanka Purti, the Sahiyya of the village called Mamta vahan at 11 pm and accompanied the expected mother to the District hospital. Sonam Purti gave birth to a child in the early hours of 05/12/2012. The baby was very weak weighing a mere of 2 kg. The mother and child got discharged on the second day and when Sahiyya visited them found that the mother is getting food just twice a day against the recommended diet of four times a day. She counselled them with the help of flip chart given by MANSI and disseminates the information on the needed care taken which she learnt in MANSI training.

“Bahut kamjor ho gai thi baccha ho jaane k baad. Ghar waale acche se khana bhi nahin khila rahe the. Tab maine bahut samjhaya aur tasveer ke sahare bataya ki kya-kya khayal rakhna hai”- Priyanka Purti (Sahiyya)

{She was too weak after the delivery. Even the family was not feeding her properly. Then I counselled them and make them understand through flip chart about the Do’s and Dont’s- Priyanka Purti (Sahiyya)}

Already fatigued mother got careless about her child which leads to the start of problem for her newborn. On the 8th day when MNHM (MANSI community health worker) Anjany visited with the Sahiyaa and weigh the newborn they found it to be drastically dropped down to 1.6 kg and upon measuring temperature found her to be hypothermic with just 94.4 °F.

“Maa kamjor thi to apne bacche ka khayal nahin rakh paa rahi thi. Baccha bhi bahut kamjor ho gaya tha aur use hypothermia ho gaya tha. Hum bahut samjhae aur maa ko kambal aur warm bag diya. Maa aur uske parivaar waalon ko bacche ko maa ki chaati se lagane ko kaha. Unhe kangaroo mehod k bare mein jaankaari di”- Anjany (MNHM)

{Mother was weak so was unable to take care of her newborn. Even the baby got weak and was hypothermic. I counselled them and provide them with the blanket and the warm bag. I told them about the Kangaroo method and asked them to put baby in mother’s touch – Anjany (MNHM)}

On the next day visit on 13/12/12 the temperature of baby dropped down to 93.3°F and she was not breastfeeding showing the persistent careless behaviour of mother. MNHM directly consulted it with the mother (Grandnan) of Sonam Purti and aware them about the dangers and the way to avoid them. The training and the Sahiyaa kit which they got from MANSI project came handy. Sahiyaa and MNHM once again told them about the kangaroo method and taught them the use of blanket and the warm bag. As the newborn was not breastfeeding they also provided them with the palady (small utensil for the collection of mother’s milk and feeding the newborn) and with the use of it helped the mother in feeding the baby. Since then many of the MANSI staff visited them which includes Field coordinator and zonal coordinators. MNHM along with Sahiyaa visited them regularly and they kept monitoring the vitals of the newborn and the mother. Ultimately the result flourished and by the start of January the baby weighed 2.6 kg with 98.1 °F temperature and was breastfeeding well. During the last visit to the happy family the baby was doing fine weighing 4 kg and feeding properly on mother’s milk. As the Grandnan of the newborn states:

“meri beti aur uske bacche ki jaan to sahiyaa aur Tata waali didi (Anjany) ne he bachai hai. In ke bachne ki koi umeed nahin thi. Didi ne haemin bataya ki bacche ko kaise garam rakhna hai aur haemin kambal aur garam bag bhi diya. Inhone bataya ki maa ko 4 baar khana dena hai aur bacchii ko sirf maa ka doodh pilana hai. Bacchii ki maa to bahut laaparwah thi, didi ne he mere dono bacchon ki jaan bachai hai”- Sonam’s mother (Grandnan)

{The life of my daughter and her baby is save by Sahiyya and MNHM. There was no chance of their survival. They told us the method of keeping the baby warm and provide us with the blanket and warm bag. They told us to feed the mother 4 times a day and to feed the baby with only mother’s milk. The newborn’s mother was very careless and its you who have saved my both childrens’ life – Sonam’s Mother (Grandnan)}


After completing his Bachelors in Occupational Therapy, Bipin practiced as an Occupational Therapist for two years. During his Masters program on Public Health in the UK, Bipin did an empirical research on Substance use among students in India. Beside the academic and professional career, Bipin is very keen to serve those communities that are still out of reach of basic health care facilities. Bipin is always passionate about exploring new places, food and culture.

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