Officials in Uttara Kannada adopt pregnant women for maternal care
Uttara Kannada Government Officials adopt pregnant women, aiding maternal health
Uttara Kannada district in Karnataka, India, has launched a pioneering initiative where higher-ranking officials from the district administration adopt pregnant women to provide them with comprehensive care during pregnancy and post-childbirth. This unique initiative aims to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality rates and lessen the financial burden on economically disadvantaged families.
The program involves adopting pregnant women who are registered under the national health mission scheme. Once adopted, the pregnant women receive regular health check-ups, nutritious food, including essential items like grains, milk, eggs, and prescribed medications. This support is facilitated by Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) workers who play a crucial role in delivering health services at the grassroots level.
Extending care beyond pregnancy
Under this scheme, officials not only provide care throughout pregnancy but also extend their support to the newborns. They stay in touch with doctors, health workers, and continue monitoring the health of both the mother and the newborn. Health records and regular vaccinations are maintained for the infants to ensure their well-being.
Uttara Kannada's Deputy Commissioner, Gangubai Mankar, has taken the lead in this initiative. Officials from various departments voluntarily adopt one pregnant woman each to care for them until post-childbirth. Currently, the district has 358 registered pregnant women benefiting from this program. The positive impact is being felt across the district, with a significant reduction in malnutrition among newborns and mothers.
The success of this initiative has been made possible through the dedication of Anganwadi and ASHA workers who play a pivotal role in providing essential services to the pregnant women and ensuring they receive the care they need. Their involvement from early pregnancy onwards helps in monitoring the health of both mother and child.
The program has garnered praise for its comprehensive approach to maternal and child health and could serve as a model for similar initiatives across the region and beyond.