An unacceptably high number of maternal and infant deaths occur in the first month after birth in our country. This can be prevented and together we can combat mother and child deaths by ensuring that right nutrition, hygiene, and supplements are made available directly to them along with the knowledge to use them.
Diarrheoa, Malaria, Pneumonia etc. are most common but life-threatening disease, caused mostly because of unhygienic practices. Promotion of hygienic practices is preventive measure to reduce infant morbidity and mortality.
NDTV and Dettol’s 12-hour Swasthagraha which was conducted on the 2nd of October commemorating the 175th year of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary, explained how swachhta (cleanliness) and swastha (health) go hand in hand. The Swasthagraha has been initiated as part of the Banega Swasth India campaign to make India not just cleaner but also healthier. NDTV and Dettol’s Banega Swasth India focuses on proper healthcare for new mothers and children to improve India’s health quotient with Smile Foundation as the implementation partner, which will reach across remote-rural areas to provide new mothers and babies with a Swasth Kit and also sensitize the mothers about taking care of their own health as well as the newborn’s.
The Swasth Kit has been developed by Smile Foundation for mothers and children based on technical know-how and years of on-ground experience of working with less privileged and hard to access communities which will support the health and hygiene needs of the mother for 45 days, a time extremely crucial for both the new mother and new born.
‘Swastha Box’ – which has been carefully curated by health care experts to address the health, sanitation and nutrition challenges among the underserved women and infant of our country.
According to the World Health Organisation, there are approximately 28 million pregnancies, 26 million live births, 67000 maternal deaths, and a million neonatal deaths. Though India has made strong progress towards reducing maternal and child deaths, a lot needs to be done.
The kit for mothers and children contains Bempu Temperature Device, Hand Sanitizer, Bar Soap, Dettol Wipes, Sanitary Napkins (preferably bio degradable), Iron Tablets, Calcium Tablets, Medicated Mosquito Net, Baby Blanket, Baby Nail Cutter, Zinc, ORS, Iodine Bindi, Cotton Roll, Baby Wrap, Small Toy for Kid, Socks & Cap for Kids, Feeding Kattori & Spoon and Literature on Neonatal and Child Care.
Speaking on the occasion about the health of women; Santanu Mishra, Co-founder and Executive Trustee of Smile Foundation said, “Indian women are very sacrificing in natureand give last priority to their own health. Even if they are pregnant at a particular point of time their first meal will be at 12.30 or 1. So our experience on ground has been very challenging to address this behavioral change.”
Awareness is a critical for ensuring uptake of the Swasth Box among the beneficiaries. To ensure this, a small booklet is made part of the kit. The topics of Lactational Amenorrhea and other Family Planning Methods, Colostrum Feeding, Exclusive Breastfeeding, Cord care, Hand washing Technique, Danger signs for new born, Nutrition for mother have been included in the information sharing booklet. The handbook will help new mothers to take care of herself and baby.
The event conducted at Mumbai also saw the participation of who’s who from Bollywood which included names like Amitabh Bachchan, Diya Mirza and Imitiyaz Ali.
To know more: https://www.smilefoundationindia.org/ndtv/