India Funds Community Health Workers for Newborn Care
August 25, 2011 | From the field | Population & Reproductive Health

The Government of India has approved funding for more than 800,000 female community health workers to provide home-based postnatal and newborn care services. The home-based care approach to maternal and newborn care was created by Society for Education, Action Research in Community Health (SEARCH), a MacArthur grantee and winner of the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. SEARCH works to reduce maternal mortality in the state of Maharashtra. In India, where two-thirds of maternal deaths occur after delivery and where nearly one million babies die within the first 28 days after birth, the strategy of providing mothers and newborns with care in their villages has the potential to reduce maternal and infant mortality. A number of factors, including poverty, conservative traditions, and poor access to health care facilities, prevent women and their families from seeking care during the post partum period. Earlier this year, the government introduced a training program on home-based care, with SEARCH taking the lead in conducting the training of master trainers.

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