Mapping maternal health in Odisha? This atlas will guide the way.

Mapping maternal health in Odisha? This atlas will guide the way.


Read how a village atlas is helping improve maternal health in a district in #Odisha

Mapping maternal health in #Odisha? This atlas will guide the way.

Binita Kanhara, 32, a tribal woman from Rajikakhol village, in Kandhamal district of Odisha, was thrilled to find out that she was expecting her first child.

Nine months later, when the day of the delivery came, her mother-in-law decided that the delivery would take place at home. The newborn child did not survive as it was very weak and anaemic and needed medical care.

The incident left Binita traumatised for months. When she was expecting her second child, Binita spent her entire pregnancy in misery, expecting the worst.

The baby was again delivered at home and was malnourished. But this time Martha Diggal, the local Accredited Local Health Activist (ASHA) worker came into her life.

She convinced Binita’s mother-in-law to send the new born baby and her mother to a hospital for necessary care. Though it was a tough battle for survival, but the baby pulled through.

By her third pregnancy, neither Martha nor Binita had to do anything other than call for an ambulance under the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) to take her to a health facility.

An intervention helmed by the Centre for Youth and Social Development (CYSD) and Oxfam India aimed at strengthening maternal health outcomes at the grassroots is bring about perceptible change across 34 villages in Kandhamal district. The district has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality in Odisha.

Here, it is the creation of the health atlas, a collaborative effort between the community, village health and sanitation committee and the government health workers that has improved the status of childbirth in the district. 

“In the last two years, no maternal deaths have been reported from the 34 villages. Of the 294 deliveries that took place between February and August 2014, 259 happened in a hospital,” said Anil Rout, District Coordinator, CYSD.

Written by: Sarada Lahangir/WFS

Photo Credit: Sarada Lahangir/WFS




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