New Delhi: Pregnancies in normal times can be tough and during a pandemic they can become anxious times for expecting mothers. With lockdowns and medical services hit, regular health check-ups and any help becomes difficult. In India, especially in the rural areas, local ASHA that’s Accredited Social Health Activists and the Auxiliary Nurse Midwifes, the ANMs have formed a formidable front to ensure pregnant women and young children are looked after.
Anshu Shukla, Asha Worker, Gopalpur, District, Shravati, Uttar Pradesh shared with us how they are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic,
Earlier when we used to work with expecting mothers, we would educate them about the food to eat, the vaccines they need, and would get them checked if needed. We would also encourage them to opt for an institutional delivery instead of home.
Savita has been working as a community health worker in an urban slum of Gurgaon for 3 years. It is her undeterred spirit that facilitated 18 deliveries during the lockdown.
If I got scared, how would I take care of them? I explained to them not to take any additional pressure because of the lockdown. We made sure their deliveries were done. We took care of everything, shared Savita, Health worker, Smile foundation, Gurugram
Sarita was one of those helped who Savita helped as she delivered her first child in May. Sarita told NDTV,
We were not sure what to do, we were scared. She taught me how to feed, what medicines to be taken, and the importance of sanitation.
In India, Asha didi’s and healthcare workers on the ground serve as the backbone of our country’s fight against undernutrition and now against COVID-19. We salute these women who continue working during these tough times.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.