Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)

‘Mother-child health to improve with Rajsangam’

- HT Correspond­ent htraj@hindustant­imes.com

JAIPUR: More than 1.25 lakh frontline workers in the state have been trained through video conferenci­ng

PIYUSH MEHRA, Antara Foundation chief executive officer

The state government aims to improve the health of mother and child with the coordinate­d efforts of frontline workers — Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs), Anganwadi Workers (AWW) and Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs).

“On Rajsangam platform, ANMs, ASHAs and AWWs will work in coordinati­on, which will deliver good results,” said National Health Mission chief Naveen Jain on Sunday.

Explaining the Rajsangam programme, Jain said the state government had signed a memorandum of understand­ing with Mumbai-based Tata Trust and Delhi-based Antara Foundation on March 2, 2015 for ‘Akshada’ programme. Under a pilot project, three blocks of Jhalawar district — Khanpur, Manohartha­na and Jhalarapat­an — were selected for the programme implementa­tion. The programme focused on the health of mother and child during the crucial 1,000 days between the conception and two years of the child’s age including maternal anaemia, neo-natal mortality, improving immunisati­on and nutrition. Looking into the results, chief minister Vasundhara Raje in December 2017 launched the programme in the entire state with the name ‘Rajsangam’.

He said the beneficiar­ies and targets were same for the frontline workers in Rajasthan, but they used to work separately. But now, under the new programme, they work in coordinati­on. He said in the first phase, village mapping is being done as per the Anganwadi geographic­al area, which helps in identifyin­g pregnant women, high-risk pregnancie­s, newborn and undernouri­shed children where services are delivered on priority. The AWWs and ASHAs draw up their home visit based on the village mapping where coloured dots are used to represent pregnant, high risk pregnancie­s, newborn and undernouri­shed children.

“The work of village mapping will end by August. On Mother and Child Health and Nutrition (MCHN) Day, which is observed once a month at village level based on the map, checking of missing mothers and children will be done and will find reasons of their absence on MCHN Day,” he said.

The role of Antara Foundation is to impart training and capacity building of the frontline workers. Antara Foundation chief executive officer Piyush Mehra said, “We started the project in three blocks of Jhalawar district, which was extended to entire district of Jhalawar and Baran by the end of 2016. This year, 15 more districts will be covered apart from Jhalawar and Baran and by the end of 2019, we will be covering the entire state.”

At present, the frontline workers are being imparted training.

“So far, more than 1.25 lakh frontline workers in the entire state have been trained through video conferenci­ng and soon a person in each district will be employed on behalf of Antara Foundation for strengthen­ing the frontline workers,” Mehra added.

The frontline workers will also impart health and hygiene education to adolescent­s and will especially teach importance of hygiene to adolescent girls during menstruati­on; encourage institutio­nal deliveries in rural areas, where deliveries are taking place at homes; will aware people about cleanlines­s so to curb seasonal diseases; inform people about the ill-effects of child marriages and inspire them to stop child marriages; inspire parents to get their children immunised; aware eligible couple to adopt means of family planning and also tell villagers to build toilets at home and use them.

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