Home away from home: Helping expectant mothers access institutional care
Jindi Devi lives in remote village in the Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh, she was due for her delivery on March 1, 2017. Radha, the village ASHA visited her in April gave her misoprostol tablet under the SURAKSHA initiative by the project VRIDDHI, and explained the benefits of delivering in a health facility. She also informed the family that the district had set up a birth waiting home to help expectant mothers like her who have to travel long distances to reach a health facility. She suggested that the family take Jindi to the birth waiting homes by the February 21-22 that is seven days prior to her expected due date and offered to accompany Jindi to Mandi. The family felt that with the ASHAs support they could try to try for an institutional delivery for Jindi Devi and ensured she reached Mandi birth waiting home well in time. Jindi was transported to District Hospital Mandi when she went into Labor and delivered delivered a healthy baby girl on March 02, 2017. Jindi Devi’s family was pleased with the services at the birth waiting home and found it a very convenient linkage between the hospital and their village, they also mentioned that they would spread the message to in the village and encourage others to utilize these birth waiting homes as a transit facility. Government of Himachal Pradesh has set up Birth Waiting Home in districts with difficult hilly terrain and issues of access with and objective to improve access to health facilities by pregnant women living in remote and tribal areas. In Mandi district, this innovative concept was initiated in July 2016 and since then till February 2017, 108 pregnant women including Jindi Devi have availed this service. This initiative is being supported and facilitated in the high priority districts by project VRIDDHI team.