SaveMom, with a vision to eradicate preventable maternal mortality and morbidity with timely and appropriate care, has signed an agreement with Amrita SeRVe to improve maternal and newborn’s health during the First 1000 days in 100 villages adopted by the NGO. The team began its work at Vellaramkunnu which is surrounded by little habitats of Paniya tribal community in the month of August. We have identified 7 pregnant women in this locality who would need our help in their pregnancy journey. While, the first visit happened in the second week of August, we visited these women again between 18-19 September, 2017. Despite heavy rains and slippery terrains, the joint team reached all the pregnant women and administered its medical and nutritional services. The visit recorded a renewed enthusiasm among the team and commitment among pregnant women about the recommendations. The women and their families were happy to see us at their doorsteps amidst rain with medical devices, nutritional supplements, and a SaveMom Calendar/Poster. We identified and added another pregnant women to the first batch.
SaveMom has adopted a tele-medicine model with its in-house software and connected medical devices. The purpose of our visit along with the Amrita SeRVe team was to evolve and setup a seamless healthcare experience. We had following things in our mind apart from visiting pregnant women:
- Showing and deploying the SaveMom app in Project SaveMom at Vellaramkunnu.
- Interviewing Amrita SeRVe’s health officers of that region to understand the health condition of the people especially the tribal community.
- Evolving a process that is founded on WHO standards and parameters for antenatal care across the globe.
- Training our health worker. Deploying SaveMom AppSaveMom app facilitates our telemedicine programme. It benefits the remote team providing an access to all relevant information about the pregnant women, her personal, social, medical, and Gyn-Ob history, and review or give feedback about each of them. The app allows the remote medical officers to connect with the local women through our community health worker. The community health worker receives instructions and prescriptions through the app. Thus, the app blueprints the healthcare worker with the action plans for every pregnant women under her care including the timeline and to-do list for the next visit. She also uses the app to gather data and update the current status of the pregnant women’s health. Moreover, it automatically records the vitals through our IOT devices. We deployed the app with few changes in our frontend for the healthcare worker. Our healthcare worker and remote medical officers were shown how the functions and how they can use it.Setting-up a Process Based on WHO StandardsDuring this visit, we wanted to gather inputs from Amrita SeRVe’s medical officers about adopting a process that would be in line with WHO standards and parameters for Positive Pregnancy Experience. Dr. Uma Nair, the head of the medical team for Project SaveMom at Amrita SeRVe, was greatly appreciative of the efforts to align our mission to WHO standards. Together with her, the team agreed that every pregnant women would go through positive pregnancy experience with our five-dimensional interventions i.e. Nutrition, Medical Assessment, Preventive Care, Interventions During Pregnancy, and a Community Health System. So the team decided that every month the pregnant will have two visits one for recording the vitals, receiving medicines, nutrition supplements, and understanding feedback from the doctors; and the other a follow up visit which ensures that the women put the recommendations into practice and to assist them if there are difficulties. Moreover, the team believed that the first visit be a community-sharing and counseling while the latter will be a home visit with personal counseling.
An important part of the second visit was our efforts to understand the community and its health condition and practices. To this effort, the team interviewed local people and Dr. Ajithakumari, Medical Officer at AmritaKrupa Hospital, Kalpatta. Dr. Ajitha highlighted that the tribal community had lost its traditional eco-system for healthy diet and lifestyle by falling prey to the fancy new food habits and lifestyles of the modern socio-economic systems of the new migrants. The irony however is that due to lack of education and employment skills they end up being victims of the maladies of the new system. The interview reaffirmed the need for ‘Project Savemom’ to help the community have a ‘FairStart’.
Training our Health Care Worker
Amrita SeRVe had appointed Mrs. SriKala as the community healthcare worker for Project SaveMom at Vellaramkunnu. The joint team trained our healthcare worker in operating the app, the devices, and in administering maternal care with its nutritional, vitamin supplements. Dr. Uma (AIMS) trained her in reading and recording vital information during her visits.
Can It be Better than This!
The visit witnessed a great teamwork and synergy of our efforts to improve the quality of maternal and fetal health during the First 1000 days. We were overwhelmed with the meticulous preparation of Organic Nutrition Supplements and Vitamin tablets by Dr. Uma and her team. With our current focus on building a holistic healthcare system, efficient network with government and private health sector, and understanding the journey of Indian pregnant women in the rural regions, we believe SaveMom will effect a ‘Fair and Bright Start’ of the future generations.