Inauguration of Interactive Voice Response System and SMS alert system for Health Communication

“Interactive Voice Response System and SMS alert system for Health Communication was inaugurated by SmtUmashree, Honourable Minister of Women and Child Development and Empowerment of Differently Abled and Senior Citizens Department, Government of Karnataka and, Shri N.A Haris, Chairman of Parlimentatary Committee on Women and Children Development and MLA of Shantinagar constituency on 13th November 2016 in Cubbon Park, Bengaluru during Children’s festival”.

GRAAM is implementing SAMVARTHANA, a project supported by UNICEF and government of Karnataka in the selected villages of Nanjangudtaluk of Mysore district and Gangavathytaluk of Koppal district in Karnataka. Samvarthana adopts Social Behaviours and Communication for Change (SBCC) strategy to addresses the issues related to nutrition, survival and development of child. It builds the capacity of front line workers like ASHA and Anganwadi teachers and community at large towards analysing and overcoming social norms and cultural practices that undermine the optimal reproductive and child health behaviour.

The unique aspect of this project is the adoption of technology to disseminate health care information about pregnant, children and lactating mother. Through this people are encourage to avail health services, so that mother and child health could be improved.

Interactive voice response system provides the pre-recorded information on emergency health services, Govt health facilities and on nutritious food through Toll free number – 1800-123-1026. This will provide 24/7 services to people. Presently the call facility is restricted to the users from selected 20 villages of Koppal and Mysore.

SMS alert system, reminds pregnant women and mother about due services like ANC check up, child immunization etc along with other general information of health and nutrition.

This innovative initiative of technology was inaugurated by clicking the audio clips of IVRS and also by releasing the CD of IVRS.

GRAAM_Launch_IVRS_SMS

Inauguration of IVRS (from left Smt. Uma Mahadevan, Principal Secretary of women and child development department, Smt. Umashrihonourable minister of women and child development department, Shri. N A Haris Chairman of Parliamentary Committee on Women and Children Development and MLA of Shantinagar constituency and Mr. Basavaraju, Executive Director of GRAAM

GRAAM’s Executive Director Mr. Basavaraju explained the project details to the dignitaries and provided details about the IVRS. The Unicef Consultant Mr. Manoj Sebastian was also present.

Background to the project: Samvarthana

The anthropometric indicators of malnutrition in India were amongst the worst in the world
(Deaton, Angus S. and Dreze, Jean, Nutrition in India: Facts and Interpretations (April 2008).

NFHS-3 figures shows that about 48% of children <5 years of age are chronically malnourished - as a result of which they are too short for their age or stunted; 20% of children <5 are wasted, or too thin for their height; and 43% are underweight. An equally disturbing trend is the increase in anemia across all age groups, particularly children and adolescents.

Malnutrition is a major public health emergency in India today, with about 50% of the population suffering from it. There is a critical window of opportunity – from conception toage two years – to prevent malnutrition and break the inter-generational cycle of malnutrition in India : once this window closes, it closes for life.

GRAAM’s intervention along with UNICEF and Govt of Karnataka

Nurturing the 1000+ Days: the focus on the “1000 days” i.e. the nine months of pregnancy and first two years of the birth are critical to Child Survival & Development. Thus, the overall focus of this model will be on the first 1000 days. However, the adolescents’ girls,who also suffer from various nutritional deficiencies, must not be excluded.

Many of the nutritional practices derive from age old behavioral patterns and norms.Changing these practices also requires the right skills at the level of right stakeholders(individuals, families, communities) and the service providers, especially front line functionaries. This requires a comprehensive Social & Behaviors Change Communication (SBCC) strategy as well as a capacity development framework. The “Nurturing 1000+ Days”model proposes to focus on survival as well as developmental parameters.

Following are the focus areas to be covered under this model:

GRAAM_Launch_IVRS_SMS_2

The preliminary findings of the study shows that the below social and behavioral issues are affecting the health of women and child in Nanjangudu and Gangavathitaluks. they are as follows

  • Child marriage, early pregnancy is the common practise in both the regions. The fear of parents about inter caste wedding/ love marriage is the major cause for child marriage. People are open to have gap between first child and the second child, but the societal pressure exist on women unless she has a first child soon after the wedding. This leads to early pregnancy.
  • Myth about eating drumstick leaves, banana during pregnancy, as people assume that it will lead to miscarriage. Drumstick leaves consists of highest amount of fibre, iron and banana is rich in folic acid. Both are essential to increase haemoglobin, hence such restriction makes women to be anemia.
  • Since delivery to till the six months of time period, mothers are not provided with any fruits. People assume that this would lead to cold. Generally fruits, vitamin A, C and carbohydrates. Lack of these components in regular diet would lead to nutritional deficiency.
  • Lack of water consumption during post natal period leads to dis functioning of body metabolic activities.
  • Open defecation, lack of practices such as use of slippers and hand washing practises are found to be very less. There are more prone for hook worm infection.
  • People prefer going first to the priest/ religious leaders to get the tayata/ yantra for any ailment rather than going to hospital.