Shabnam’s Journey to Health and Happiness

A resident of Navjeevan Camp in Asha’s Kalkaji slum community- Shabnam lives with her husband and in-laws. Shabnam’s husband works day and night in a private firm to feed the family of five on an earning of Rs 10, 000 ($146/ £116) per month.

Three years after marriage when Shabnam got pregnant, it brought joy to the family. This turned into despair soon after. The reason was that 21-year-old Shabnam was diagnosed with high-risk Tuberculosis (TB) and anaemia. “The multiple complications have placed the lives of my wife and unborn baby in grave danger as stated by the Gynaecologist at the nearby government hospital,” said Shabnam’s husband in a hoarse voice.

On a regular visit around the community by the Community Health Volunteer, one day, a weak and dull Shabnam was found lying in one corner of her shanty. The CHV immediately took her to the Asha Health Centre and showed her to the doctor. She was referred and accompanied to nearest government-run Tuberculosis centre. The team at Kalkaji ensured that Shabnam took her Tuberculosis medicines and Iron supplements on a daily basis. The Asha Team conducted regular check-ups on her to ensure that her pregnancy went well. They also counselled her in-laws regarding the superstitions related to Tuberculosis and anaemia.

Early this year, Shabnam gave birth to a healthy baby in spite of her complications. The Asha Team was present in the hospital to support the family and assist the mother in early nursing.

“My life was shattered when I heard about Tuberculosis. I would not have this prized possession in my arms without Asha Team’s help,” signed off Shabnam happily feeding her newly born.