Health Programs & Their Impact
Maternal Healthcare—Traditional Birth Attendants and Obstetric Insurance
323 Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) live and work in 152 villages where they perform deliveries and care for pregnant women both before and after delivery. TBAs delivered care to 5,500 women in the last calendar year, organized more than 600 informational meetings, and remain the primary providers of maternal healthcare in many areas. While TBAs provide safe and hygienic home births (nearly 2,000 last year), they encourage women to deliver at hospitals when necessary, accompany them throughout the arduous multi-hour journey, handle medical complications that arise en route, and are key advocates for mothers in overcrowded and bureaucratic public hospitals. In addition, Seva Mandir has piloted an obstetric insurance program that, for a Rs. 350 ($6) premium, has granted 229 women access to antenatal and delivery services at Seva Mandir-accredited hospitals, and increased antenatal care from 54% to 74%.
Infant and Early Child Healthcare (Balsakhis)
Seva Mandir has trained 99 community health workers for infants, called Balsakhis, who provided care to 2,117 children in a recent year. Balsakhis counsel new mothers on critical aspects of newborn care including breastfeeding, weaning and appropriate nutrition. Balsakhis also chart child growth, treat basic illnesses and refer serious cases to hospitals, at a salary per worker of just Rs. 2100 ($35) per month.
Seva Mandir’s immunization program has nearly doubled child immunization rates from 35% to 60% in many villages. It does so by increasing both supply and demand: regular camps are held on well-publicized dates, and parents receive incentives (lentils) for every shot of vaccine their child receives. Last year the camps immunized 1,324 children across 113 villages at a cost of Rs. 2,400 ($41) for a camp serving 100 families. The camps are also hubs for other medical services, and last year treated 2,429 children for common illnesses and provided additional antenatal checkups.