Ragalaparvi PHC gets an additional nurse, the very next day of public rally – impact of JMS campaign for maternal health rights
Pursuant to the vigorous campaign which included village marches, rally at the tehshil place, addressing the press which highlighted the systemic gaps which adversely affected Dalit women, JMS started following up with the villages and the Primary Health Centres in the villages. Meetings were held in Dumthi Village (Sindhanur taluka/tehshil) and Ragalparvi PHC (Sindhanur Tehshil) where a public hearing was held. On 16 January 2018, eight days after the public rally, an hour long discussion was held with the medical officer at the PHC.
The medical officer gave the good news – the very next day after the rally, a new nurse has been appointed to the PHC, thus increasing the strength of the staff. They were extremely happy and thanked JMS, that it is their struggle that has resulted in this change.
An additional nurse certainly brings smiles in the PHC as more women can be attended to, more time can be given to each of the woman who comes to PHC, and also provides to the overburdened staff. The women in the nearby Dumthi village have now planned to go to another PHC to talk and do the follow up with the staff of the PHC.
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Increasing incidence of maternal deaths and poor quality of antenatal (ANC) services in Hyderabad Karnataka region of the state prompted the Jagrutha Mahila Sanghatan (JMS) to undertake a survey in 30 villages coming under the 7 PHC areas in Sindanoor and Manvi taluks of Raichur district. The survey was anchored by the leaders of JMS themselves in an attempt to systematically document access and quality of ANCfor women from the Dalit Madiga community in terms of:
• The quality of AN care women were receiving in government health facilities
• The extent to which women were forced to seek AN care in the private sector
• The out of pocket expenses incurred by pregnant women and their families in the private sector
• Various kinds of health problems suffered by pregnant women
• Outcomes of pregnancy
• Issues related to newborn care
Leaders from JMS used a modified pictorial survey tool to gather data over a two month period. Data was gathered from a total of 234 women from the Madiga community who had delivered in the village in the past one year preceding the survey. The data was then entered into SPSS for analysis.
Based on the survey analysis, deficiencies of services were found in ante-natal, child birth and post-natal services. The following point towards some of the significant deficies in services: