The International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) organised at Cairo in 1994 was a milestone in bringing Reproductive Rights to the global agenda. The Reproductive and Child Health Programme was initiated by the Government of India in 1997. To ensure civil society participation in the effective implementation of Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) program, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India initiated the Mother NGO (MNGO) Scheme in the year 2000. The objective of the MNGO scheme is to improve the Reproductive and Child Health status in the underserved areas.
Since October 2004, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, has accredited CHETNA as a Regional Resource Centre (RRC) for Gujarat State and the Union Territories of Diu, Daman and Dadra Nagar Haveli. The role of RRC is to strengthen the technical and managerial competencies of MNGOs to facilitate implementation of RCH activities through field NGOs and Coordinate with the National/State and District Health Department. To see the functioning of RRC click here
A total of 21 Mother NGOs (MNGOs) , 76 field NGOs(FNGOs) and 3 Service NGOs (SNGOs) have been identified for the intervention by RRC in 23 districts of Gujarat State. A population of 7, 80,970 from 573 villages is covered under the scheme. This population is served by 97 Primary Health Centers and 229 Sub Health Centers.
Several need based capacity building events are organised and provided hand holding support to enhance the capacities of MNGOs for implementation of RCH activities. The trainings are conducted in Gujarati language. A participatory training needs assessment is done for the programme. This is field tested at one site and than replicated to other districts through training of master trainers. Field visits are made to provide hand holding support. Appropriate module and reference material is also provided to facilitate ongoing learning. A pre and post test is conducted to measure knowledge gain.
RRC has organised various trainings of trainers to enhance the skills for conducting baseline survey, data processing and data analysis and proposal development; Developing gender sensitive IEC/BCC strategies; Integrating Gender in RCH ; Evidence based focused planning; Monitoring and Evaluation; Presentation skills, Counselling skills etc. Technical trainings have been organised on Reproductive and Child Health components ; Maternal and Newborn Health; Home based New Born Care; Child Health; Contraception and Adolescent Health.
Awareness Campaigns are conducted to support the Government of Gujarat initiative of “Healthy Child Year”, celebration of ‘ Healthy Child Week -Nirogi Bal Saptaha’ during 14-21 November 2008. 78 health checkup camps were organized in 20 districts by MNGOs. 9841 children between age group of 0-16 years and 2712 pregnant women received health services. About 12,000 community members participated in various interactive educational activities conducted by the FNGOs/ MNGOs. Campaigns are conducted to celeberate Breast Feeding Week during 1st – 7th August and Nutrition week (1-7th September) to reach out to a wide range of stakeholders at the local and state level. The RRC support the School Health Check-up Programme of Health & Family Welfare Department, Gujarat State, through MNGOs of 21 Districts for the mobilisation of school going children for health check-up and referral services.
In order to support the MNGOs/FNGOs to communicate effectively and accurately a variety of health communication material is developed and disseminated . CRRC develops a News letter – PAHEL to provide issue based information on Reproductive and Child Health. The News letter is disseminated to NGOs, State and District level Health Officials and other civil society networks. Some of the issues covered through the newsletter are Reproductive and Child Health(RCH) Programme Policy Programme and Convergence for RCH Gender and Maternal Health, Adolescent Health and Maternal and Newborn Health
CRRC, along with State NGO Coordinator conducted 58 field appraisal visits to 19 MNGOs/ FNGOs. This appraisal was conducted to review the performance of MNGOs in terms of support and capacity building of the Field NGOs and liaison with the district and local health authorities.
Monitoring and Evaluation
Maternal and Child Health has been prioritised and eleven monitoring indicators have been identified collectively. A village health card has been developed to collect data at the field level. This health card is issued to all women in the reproductive age group (15-49 yrs) of the intervention villages. The village health workers track women for MCH services. The information is computerised, monthly. An overall achievement report along with lists of women and children who need particular component of services is generated. This is used to plan for mobilistation and service delivery at the local level. The information is collated and submitted at the district level and used for collective planning and monitoring. At the state level this report is used to identify gaps in provisioning and planning for support at the local level.
District and State level Review of MNGOs
CRRC supports MNGOs and in collaboration with the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Gujarat, reviews the efforts made by the MNGOs during which they share their strategies implemented by them to mobilise the community.
At the state level, RRC shares and facilitates sharing of experiences, concerns and challenges of the field level implementation of the scheme.
National Review of MNGO scheme
At the national level, RRC reports on the progress made at the state level and its contribution at the national level are reviewed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
CRRC Networks with the district health authorities to facilitate smooth implementation for RCH. The Centre also joins hands with civil society networks to advocate for maternal health. It is also a member of the state ASHA Mentoring Group.