Jharkhand Mothers cross forests for childrens’ vaccination

The lack of state medical facilities in the hinterlands of Jharkhand has the tribal mothers worried about the health of their young ones. The Lopongtandi village of Ramgarh district in Jharkhand has a tribal population of 450 residents, amongst which 56 are children between the age of 0-6 years.

The nearest child-care centre from the Lopongtandi village lies in Jhilkiya , a village which is 2.5 km away. The mothers and young child have to traverse through the forest to reach the centre. Julia Murmu, a new mother tells us the problem first hand, " It is very difficult to go to the Jhilkiya health care centre. We are apprehensive of crossing to forest with little babies. So, we can't even get our children vaccinated due to the fear of the forest."

Under the Janani Suraksha Yojana and the Janani Shishu Suraksha Yojana, the Indian government’s scheme to bring down maternal and neonatal deaths, women and children are supposed to get nutrition and vaccinations at local anganwadi centres. Under the schemes, children between the age of 0-6 years also gain access to pre-school education, nutrition and vaccination

Maternal mortality rate (MMR) in Jharkhand is 261 deaths per one lakh live births, which is much higher than the national average of 212 deaths. 41 children out of 1000, born in Jharkhand, don’t live to see a tomorrow. Such breakdowns of the administrative responsibility and accountability defeats the purpose of saving lives of many mothers and children in the area.

Basanti Soren, our Community Correspondent who has made this video is currently

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