No facilities for Pregnant Women

Madva, Bihar | Ashok Paswan

Mamta Devi, a mother of a newborn child, failed to receive primary healthcare from the Aanganwadi in her village during the pregnancy of her child.  Mothers in Jamui repeatedly complain of recurrent episodes of giddiness and weakness, and low immunity in their infants. This failure of healthcare has proven to be severely detrimental to her child’s as well as her own health in the long run. Video Volunteer’s Community Correspondent, Ashok Paswan, reports from Jamui, Bihar about the severe dearth of crucial medicines and nutritious meals for pregnant mothers and newborn children.

Aanganwadi worker Rizwaan Ansari revealed the failure in the provision of medicines, vaccines  and food kits from the Child Development Project Office to her village. This failure in the supply of medicines that address recurrent illnesses such as diarrhoea and fever often results in severe consequences to newborns from poor households. These households cannot access expensive treatment from private doctors, often costing them their child’s life.

The Aanganwadi Program was introduced by the Government of India as a part of the Integrated Child Development Services Program in 1975 to combat the mammoth problems of infant mortality, malnutrition, and to implement immunization programmes.  An Aanganwadi worker is a local woman trained to provide outreach services such as vaccines, healthy food and a safe and healthy environment for poor pregnant and nursing mothers and children between the age group of 0-6 years. Although there are an estimated 1.8 million Aanganwadi workers in India, lack of medical infrastructure such as iron tablets, first aid kits and nutritious food are never delivered to them, thus  making their jobs impossible.

 We urge you to take up Jamui’s struggle for adequate Aaanganwadi healthcare as your own by calling the Child Development Project Officer (Jamui, Bihar) at +91 9431005586 and demanding urgent action.

 

This series on maternal health is supported by Oxfam India.

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