Training Anganwadi and ASHA workers to support pregnant women at the time of COVID - 19

Sujit
Posted August 4, 2020
Wellness training
Wellness session for pregnant women at the the time of COVID - 19.

Pregnant women in urban slum and rural communities are facing unexpected hardship because of COVID -19.

A difficult question our colleagues in the front line are increasingly facing these days is -

“Amma, if I get infected, can I pass the coronavirus to my unborn baby? Will that lead to my child having problems or deformities in the future? My mother-in-law has suggested that I should terminate my pregnancy.”

Difficulty in accessing reliable information and having to depend on attention grabbing headlines in the media has spread misinformation and consequently led to fear and panic in communities. Most of the women we reach out to are first time pregnant and young. 

Unfortunately, the antenatal support provided through Government of India's Janani Sishu Suraksha Karyakram programme in Andhra Pradesh has had to come to a standstill.  Anganwadi Centres (AWCs) are closed because of lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The closure has not only meant that services such as routine checkups, educational sessions, peer support and distribution of food has been affected. It has also compounded pregnancy related anxiety. In such circumstances, front line community health workers, that is, ASHA and AWC workers who are from the communities too feel helpless and despondent that they are not able to do more.

Requests for support from ASHA and Anganwadi Workers who are in the frontline of combating the COVID - 19 pandemic in Andhra Pradesh have been pouring in. That is not surprising. They would like to have some basic awareness training on how to support pregnant women in their communities in relation to COVID - 19 and the coronavirus. In response we have developed a training deck, which has been adapted for the local context and translated in Telugu.

Visit our website www.kushalindia.org to have a look at the training deck we have developed. It aims for a one hour session. If you would like to have a copy please contact me through the website and I'll send you a pdf version. Feel free to adapt!

 

#connectwomenhealtheworld

Comments 11

Log in or register to post comments
Busayo Obisakin
Aug 04
Aug 04

Well done on this great Initiative and thanks for sharing
Love
Busayo

Sujit
Aug 05
Aug 05

Thank you! Much appreciated.

Hello, Sujit,

Congratulations on writing you first post! I’m happy that a new voice from India is rising up.

Pregnancy makes women vulnerable to common illness. It’s understandable that expecting mothers would feel anxiety and worried about the pandemic.

Great job on helping these women. Please keep on writing.
Thanks for this update!

Sujit
Aug 05
Aug 05

Thank you Karen. Will do so - post voices from our communities.

You're welcome, dear. Looking forward to it!

Nini Mappo
Aug 05
Aug 05

Dear Sujit,
Congratulations on your first post and also to you and your team on providing this timely resource and care to expecting mothers in your community. Thank you for extending the resource to all of us here as well. That is thoughtful.
It is encouraging to see women like you looking for ways to support other women during this pandemic. And for the expecting mothers confused and anxious about the effect of Covid-19 to their unborn babies, you a a beacon of light. Well done.

Sujit
Aug 05
Aug 05

Hi Nini

Thank you for your kind and supportive words.

A small clarification - I am a man who has been working on gender and sexuality for many years now! I was introduced to and encouraged to join this platform by a female member who is quite active on World Pulse, though I has some hesitation as I didn't want to come across as being encroaching. I just think World Pulse is such a great space for women to have a voice without hesitation.

Nini Mappo
Aug 06
Aug 06

Ha, Sujit, please accept my sincere apologies. But that explains it! I did wonder why this story teller had an avatar for a profile photo but then shared a real life photo of the project (I assumed you to be the one giving the talk).
Thank you for the clarification. But it is even better to find that you are a man entering into the challenges faced by women with a compassion that moves you to respond innovatively.

We need more men like you in our communities.
Thank you for caring|
Nini

Sujit
Aug 06
Aug 06

Hi Nini

Thank you for your kind words and reassurance.

A clear objective for us is to increase positive and supportive engagement of men and male folk in households during pregnancy. One of the biggest barriers to wellness and good health..... As we learn and go along I am optimistic that we'll come up with some clever interventions that arise straight from the ground.

Very best

Sujit

Chi8629
Aug 08
Aug 08

Thank you for sharing.

Sujit
Aug 10
Aug 10