Dr Kiran, “I remember one day I was in Trilokpuri slum community. It was in the year 1991. A woman who was in labor was brought to my clinic. She was bleeding heavily and was in shock. I learnt that she had been given an injection of oxytocin by a local quack to hasten labor. Her uterus had ruptured because of that. I asked the family to rush her to the hospital emergency. Sadly both the mother and the baby died.
During those years I saw many pregnant mothers who hadn’t received any antenatal care, and developed complications such as eclampsia from high blood pressure, bleeding due to a variety of causes, infections after childbirth because local untrained midwives did deliveries, complications during delivery and so on.
It was heartbreaking to witness mothers and babies dying just because mothers hadn’t received good antenatal care and the opportunity for safe deliveries. Such situations would be extremely rare in Western countries. Most deaths were definitely preventable or treatable.
The Maternal Mortality Rate was 750 for every 100,000 live births, one of the highest in the world.
We did not have a single Maternal Death at Asha last year, and this has been the case in the past few years.
Every mother has the right to experience the unimaginable joy when her newborn baby is placed in her arms, right? Instead it was a terrifying experience for them in the slums. In addition, there was the burden placed on giving the family a son.
I am so glad that together we are providing high quality maternal care to all Asha expectant mothers, and tracking them all through their pregnancy, childbirth, and during the postnatal period. Asha has trained hundreds of midwives over the years.
Here are some pictures for you to enjoy.
They are registered early, looked after throughout their pregnancy, every patient gets ultrasounds and blood and other tests. Asha CHV’s and Volunteers give lessons on Maternal and Newborn Health.
Postnatal visits are made by the Asha Team at home immediately after birth, and Asha team members help the mother to initiate breast feeding. The mother and baby are examined well as per the Asha protocols.
The Asha baby is registered straightaway and tracked and taken care of all the way until the age of five.
The Neonatal Mortality Rate of Asha is 11 for every 1000 live births in comparison with 23 for India as a whole.
What a wonderful opportunity to reflect on these achievements on the occasion of World Health Day!”
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