Improving the health of mothers, babies and young children is among the most important public health goals. Mother and child health determines the well-being of the next generation and can help predict future public health challenges for families, communities, and the health care system.
Top initiatives for mother and child health
Here are some of the most successful CSR-funded programmes for mother and child health in India.
This Aditya Birla Group company extends mother and child healthcare facilities for antenatal and post-natal care, mass immunisation, nutrition and escort services for institutional delivery. In collaboration with the District Health Department, Ultratech Cement’s mother and child healthcare project served 13,122 women this year. Over 1,24,439 children were immunised against polio, BCG, DPT and Hepatitis-B across the Company’s Units. The intensive motivational drive towards responsible family raising led to 1,473 villagers going in for planned families across 16 locations this year.
Tata Steel MANSI
Tata Steel’s flagship health programme Maternal and Newborn Survival Initiative (MANSI) has won multiple awards – including a special honour at the National CSR Awards 2019 – for its impact in reducing neonatal and infant mortality. MANSI works on a public-private partnership mode which focuses on building capacity of existing government voluntary health workers (Accredited Social Health Activists-ASHAs, known as Sahiyas in Jharkhand).
Low literacy levels of Sahiyas was a constraint in many cases. Tata Steel MANSI overcame this through classroom sessions where Sahiyas are provided training, using largely visual or pictorial aids, on parameters which would address the root causes and underlying reasons for neonate (newborn of 0-28 days) and infant (child up to 1 year of age) mortality. The CSR project for mother and child health was scaled up—from 167 pilot villages to 1,686 villages of Jharkhand and Odisha. It now covers a massive 2.2 lakh households in 12 blocks across Jharkhand and Odisha.
Nestle India Project Jagriti
Nestle India launched Project Jagriti in partnership with MAMTA (Mamta Health Institute for Mother and Child), a nonprofit organisation. The CSR programme focuses on creating peer-mentor support groups for counselling on healthy nutrition for pregnant and lactating women, encouraging the early initiation of breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding, improving breastfeeding practices and encouraging the uptake of public health services.
From 2016 to 2018, the programme ran across 15 districts of Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Chandigarh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Delhi, reaching out to 4.6 million beneficiaries; 1.5 million of whom were directly impacted.
In the last decade, RB (formerly Reckitt Benckiser) has reached out to millions of children and mothers to raise awareness around hygiene and sanitation. However, in India where 53% of the population does not have access to a toilet, there is an increased need in the intensity of CSR initiatives for mother and child health.
‘Dettol Banega Swachh India’ is a 5-year CSR programme to address the rising need of hygiene and sanitation in India. Another flagship initiative that covers mother and child health is ‘Dettol Banega Swasth India’. RB has partnered with NGO Plan India amidst the raging spread of COVID-19. The partnership between the two organisations aims towards ensuring good health, proper hygiene and adequate nutrition for mother and child.
One Community Health Centre, two Nutrition Rehabilitation Centers, 42 Anganwadis were retrofitted with facilities to equip the public health system to serve the community better. Additionally, this collaboration will also distribute food and hygiene kits to the vulnerable migrant’s families of high risk pregnant women and malnourished children.
Dettol Young Mothers Programme
Another successful mother and child health initiative from the RB Group is the Dettol Young Mothers Programme. It works on a global scale with a variety of partners – from NGOs to paediatricians and governments in over 40 countries to reach new moms and to protect the health, not only their new arrival, but their whole family.
The aim of Dettol Young Mothers is to support new mums, and teach them how some small interventions can be hugely health-giving. This is incredibly important as every year almost 1 lakh children in India die under the age of five due to diarrhoea, a disease that can be prevented by the practice of good hygiene. The CSR programme has reached out to 2.4 million mothers in India since 2006 to spread the message of health and hygiene.
Vedanta Nand Ghar
Nand Ghar made its debut in 2015 with a vision to transform the lives of 8.5 crore children and 2 crore women across 13.7 lakh anganwadis. A dream project of Vedanta Chairman Anil Agarwal, Nand Ghar is a network of model anganwadis where the thrust is on inclusive development of children, women and local communities.
The CSR programme reached an important milestone earlier this year when it rolled out its 1500th centre in Varanasi. The project has been scaled up to seven states – Rajasthan, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh – and aims to touch the lives of 4 million community members while directly impacting around 2 lakh children and 1.8 lakh women on an annual basis.