Addressing health and nutrition challenges among mothers and children through a continuum of care approach
Govandi, Mankhurd, M/E ward (Mumbai)
We believe that integrated delivery of health interventions across the life-cycle can address poor health in low-resource communities. Our community centres act as a resource center to offer various health, nutrition and safety services to women and children through a single, community-level access point.
These centres serve as a base for our staff to interface regularly with the community to influence their health seeking behaviour through home-visits, community events and workshops on topics related to maternal and child health and nutrition as well as domestic violence.
SNEHA Community Organisers (CO) work with newly married couples to promote planned parenthood and preconception care and increase awareness of anemia-nutrition for positive outcome of delivery.
Maternal health and nutrition
We work to ensure that pregnant women get identified at an early stage, register for Antenatal Care (ANC) services, support them to receive optimal antenatal, perinatal and postnatal care services.
Infant and child care
We aim to meet the health and nutritional needs of children between 0 to 6 years. SNEHA Centres address malnutrition by screening children through monthly anthropometry, referral and follow-up of children identified as malnourished, working to improve infant and child feeding practices, uptake of immunisation and morbidity care.
Prevention and addressal of violence against women and children
We identify women in distress and refer them to counsellors, police or other health and support services for appropriate addressal. Our on-ground campaigns and volunteer groups aim to prevent, identify, and notify violence for further intervention.
Working with systems for sustainability
We collaborate with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to conduct field level immunisation camps for children, deliver contraceptive devices, iron & folic acid tablets and other nutritional supplements for women and children. We work with the Government of India’s Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) to monitor children’s growth and support in distribution of supplementary food (Take Home Ration), counselling, referral and follow-up of malnourished children.
Creating a cadre of community volunteers
We identify community men and women, build their capacities to become volunteers to support Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH+A) intervention, facilitate dialogue among their own communities and public system to improve uptake of public services.
Reduction in stunting
among children from 0-2 years
(from 37% to 27%) (2019-2022)
Reduction in maternal anaemia
(from 44% to 34%)
It can be overwhelming for mothers to learn about and keep track of best practices in pregnancy-related activities. We have learned that small interventions like raising awareness of services and regular health follow-ups can improve health outcomes for both mother and child.
Nishi*, a first-time pregnant woman was moderately anaemic when a SNEHA Community Organiser (CO) first evaluated her health reports. The CO introduced Nishi to a government health worker, who prescribed Nishi iron supplements and iron rich foods. They continued to converse with Nishi through her pregnancy and helped her access the regular government supplied food (PDS rations). Nishi’s iron levels slowly normalised.
Nishi delivered normally, but her baby was underweight.
She received support in accessing immunisations, iron supplements, and take-home government rations for mothers and children less than 6 years.
The CO and government health worker visited her weekly to monitor breastfeeding and to identify postnatal danger signs. The support proved significant as the infant gained the requisite weight.
Integrated Child Development Services
Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai
HT Parekh Foundation