Access to health care services in rural areas continues to be a critical issue. However, this story of a mother illustrates how an effective and coordinated response from every actor in the process bridges that gap.
Mrs. Pramila Umtol lives in Pada, a hamlet of Unbhat village which has no direct road access except a trail through thorny bushes. Pramila got married in 2009 and gave birth to her first kid in 2010. But due to lack of awareness of health care and lack of access to healthcare system she lost her 2 kids just after delivery. The prevalent superstitious beliefs made her believe that there was something wrong with her. In the meanwhile she conceived for the 4th time, however, this time one of our community health facilitators reached her on time and asked to register and get her blood tests done. Her Hb was 7g/dl and she was severely anemic. Her financial condition was also bad that she could not even afford two meals a day.
Her food choices and traditions made it even difficult for the facilitator to convince her to be well fed during her pregnancy. She sought the support of her supervisor to convince Pramila about the importance of nutritious food and supplements like Iron and folic acid and calcium during pregnancy.
Another point of concern was that her in-laws were not on talking terms. The team contacted them and explained to them that Pramila needed emotional and physical support along with nutrition and timely check-ups. They agreed to stay with her and took good care of her. The ASHA of the village also visited her from time to time. She was also taken to the nearest PHC for a medical check-up. Her in-laws even took her for a repeat blood test and her Hb had increased to 10g/dl. She was ambulated to the PHC on her due date and delivered a 2.6 kg healthy baby normally.
Today the mother and the child are both healthy and happy.