Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Health project in India saved many mothers and children, project finds

Date:
November 2, 2012
Source:
Linköping Universitet
Summary:
Infant mortality has fallen by half, and the number of women who died from complications during pregnancy and childbirth by three-quarters. This is the result of a four-year health care project in one of India's poorest districts.

Mobile health care centers were set up to reach the most remote villages.
Credit: Image courtesy of Linköping Universitet

Infant mortality has fallen by half, and the number of women who died from complications during pregnancy and childbirth by three-quarters. This is the result of a four-year health care project in one of India's poorest districts.

"We're overjoyed that mortality could be reduced with relatively simple means like mobile health care centres. It was successful because pregnant women and new mothers got the opportunity to actively seek care."

So says Siw Alehagen who, together with AnnaKarin Johansson, Orvar Finnström and Göran Hermansson -- all of Linköping University in Sweden -- and their Indian colleagues, is publishing the results in the journal Rural and Remote Health.

Alehagen, with a background as a midwife, and Johansson, a district nurse, are both researchers in nursing science. In 2004, the Indian organisation Pravara Medical Trust, the Östergötland County Council and the Faculty of Health Sciences received funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency to start an intervention study in the Ahmednagar district in central India.

The study covers 235 villages where more than half the inhabitants live under the Indian poverty line of 1,000 rupees (equal to 18.50 USD) a month, and where health care is at an extremely low level.

"In the most remote districts, there is neither access to nor demand for maternal and paediatric health care," Johansson says.

Three out of every four births took place in the woman's home. Almost five of every 1,000 pregnant women died in connection with childbirth, and 80 of every 1,000 newborns died before their first birthday. Over half of the children under five were malnourished.

The project was inspired by the Swedish model, with nurse-based maternal and paediatric clinics; the goal was to open nine permanent and five mobile primary care centres that could serve the most isolated villages. 385 Indian nurses, physicians, laboratory workers and social workers were employed, as were 235 volunteer women as local contacts.

The effect was unmistakable. The lines soon began coiling around the centres. There were not only pregnant women and mothers of small children; other villagers with diverse complaints also came. An important success factor was changing attitudes towards patients, which traditionally was strictly authoritarian. Some of them said "I came here because I heard you were nice to the patients."

In only a few years, the attitude towards maternal and paediatric health care has changed. In 2009, 63% of newborns came to their first check-up before the age of 16 weeks, as compared to 38% three years earlier. Over the same period, the proportion of hospital births climbed from 40% to 74%. The proportion of mothers who died in connection with pregnancy and childbirth fell to barely 1 in 1,000; infant mortality stayed at 43 in 1,000.

The project has now been concluded. But despite a shortage of secure financing, three of the mobile clinics are still rolling; the permanent primary care clinics that were established are continuing their activities.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Linköping Universitet. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. SA Alehagen, O Finnström, GV Hermansson, KV Somasundaram, VB Bangal, A Patil, P Chandekar and AK Johansson. Nurse-based antenatal and child health care in rural India, implementation and effects – an Indian-Swedish collaboration. Rural and Remote Health, 2012; 12: 2140 (online) [link]

Cite This Page:

Linköping Universitet. "Health project in India saved many mothers and children, project finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121102084500.htm>.
Linköping Universitet. (2012, November 2). Health project in India saved many mothers and children, project finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121102084500.htm
Linköping Universitet. "Health project in India saved many mothers and children, project finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121102084500.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) — A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) — Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) — The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins