In Rajasthan the Maternal Mortality Rate has shown very slow decline and remains at an estimated 318 per 100,000 live births and the Infant Mortality Rate at 59 per 1000 live births. (SRS, 2011). Under-nutrition contributes significantly to the high maternal and neonatal mortality rates. While efforts are being made for reduction of maternal and newborn mortality, there is still a need to ensure accountability of the health system towards the citizens, particularly women and girls from disadvantaged sections. Jatan, a member of the white Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood Rajasthan proposes to create accountability mechanisms and health rights advocacy for effective implementation of Maternal Nutrition and Health services in Udaipur district Rajasthan. Two Projects have been initiated in the direction:
SAMAH: SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY FOR MATERNAL AND NEWBORN HEALTH AND NUTRITION
To analyse, the gaps in health facilities in one block of Udaipur district and to empower the community served by one Community Health Centre in the area by creating awareness on maternal health entitlements, and enabling them to raise their voices to ensure service delivery and enhance accountability.–
To improve services provided on the Village Health and Nutrition Days(VHND)00
To develop a citizen’s report card on the status of maternal health services in the intervention areas and share the findings at district and state levels
To organise Gram sabhas and public hearings with the decision makers for action on maternal health.
A two pronged strategy will be adopted. One envisages on empowering communities to effectively access their entitlements and the second to facilitate a process of interactive dialogue between the citizens and the duty bearers at the village and district level. The project will use social accountability tools such as checklists, citizen’s report card and public hearing to demand accountability for effective implementation of services and schemes including the Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram.
Partners: Suma- Rajasthan White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood
WOMEN’S HEALTH AND RIGHTS ADVOCACY PARTNERSHIP (WHRAP)
To increase the demand for quality of maternal health services
To increase the access to and influence policy on maternal health services for marginalized communities at local, state and district level.
To organize participation of marginalized women in advocacy activities for access to quality health services.
In order to mobilize the community Jatan aims to directly contact 1500 women including adolescents, pregnant women, women members of Jatan’s technical resource center, village health and sanitation committee members, women Para- health workers and traditional birth attendants.
To improve the situation on the ground and to ensure sustainability of the program the village health facility Staff, District Health Officials, ASHAs, ANMs, Anganwadi workers and the Medical Officer would be oriented on best practices for maternal and newborn care.
Jatan has also contacted 150 local women elected representatives and the member of legislative assembly, media, and journalists from leading Hindi newspapers and electronic media reporters to engage in fruitful debates and discussions around the issue to raise awareness amongst the community.