The maternal health project, delivered by ASSEFA, focussed on improving the lives of women and children in the Marakkanam area (Tamil Nadu), by providing antenatal and postnatal health care services as well as education in nutrition and environmental health for women and families. This programme had the following objectives:
- The reduction of maternal and infant mortality rates amongst women and their children in the target groups.
- Reducing morbidity and mortality amongst school children
- Decreasing the number of low birth weight babies (less than 2.5kg).
The project reached approximately 150 women under the mother and childcare programmes and women from another 500 families each year through other health care services such as training, screening camps, advice for adolescent girls and nutritional and environmental health education. Through working with volunteers from the different villages, ASSEFA has been able to reach those that miss out on government programmes.
The project included the following activities each year:
Mother and Child Health Care Programme
- Antenatal care for 150 women which included regular check-ups, registration and health education.
- Postnatal care for 150 women which included mother and baby kits, health and nutrition awareness and special care for babies below 2.5 kg.
- Health programme for infants which included growth monitoring, providing iron and vitamin drops and ensuring immunization.
- Infant Nutrition: 150 infants received rice and green gram dhal porridge
- Supplementary Nutrition: 300 children received 100 grams of green gram (moong dahl) or a banana twice a week.
- Nutritive mix: 2kg nutritive mix was given to 250 antenatal and postnatal mothers as well as adolescent girls.
- Organic gardening: vegetable seeds was distributed to 300 women.
- Tree plantation: 300 trees were planted in the project area
- Improvement of dwellings: 10 families’ homes were improved to make them more hygienic.
- 50 health animators received intensive training on mother and child health care, first aid/emergency management, referral of high-risk mothers, snake and insect bites, common fever, diarrhoea etc.
- 20 teachers received training on school children’s health issues, first-aid management in the school campus and handling emergency situations.
- 100 adolescent girls received training on improvement of personal hygiene, preparation of nutrition enriched foods, and preparation of hygienic sanitary pads, psychological support and basic education on women’s reproductive health.
- Screening Camps for women of reproductive age were conducted for 200 reproductive young women to check for the most prevalent health problems.