A sahiya talks to a woman about her and her baby’s health at a village in Ranchi. Telegraph picture
Sugnu Tirkey’s wife was pregnant with their second child. Around a week ago, she went into labour but there was no sahiya or female health worker in her nondescript village in Bundu block of Ranchi district to help her.
Tirkey, a farmer, was running from pillar to post frantically for help. Suddenly, he noticed “Muft Mamta Vahan: phone number-9199665550” written on the wall of a building. “Hum bhagwan ka shukriya ada karte hain ke meri biwi ka jeevan bach gaya,” Tirkey , now a proud father of two, said.
Ranchi, July 3: A non-government organisation, Save the Children, has started a campaign to spread awareness about Mamta Vahan, an ambitious project launched by the state government to ensure timely medical assistance for pregnant women in rural areas across the state.
Supported by Badlao Foundation and in collaboration with the state health department, Save the Children has been writing on walls to popularise the ambulance service as well as phone numbers of its call centre to help villagers avail the benefit.
This apart, the NGO is also using pictorial depictions to communicate with rural masses, a large section of whom are illiterate.
The round-the-clock ambulance service, along with a call centre, was launched to minimise maternal and infant mortality rates in remote belts of Jharkhand, where delay in medical assistance often proves fatal. However, lack of awareness about the service has been undermining the objective of the project.
To remove this hurdle, the NGO launched the awareness campaign around three weeks ago in villages across four districts of Ranchi, Dumka, Jamtara and Gumla.
Speaking talking to The Telegraph, director (health) Dr Vijay Shankar Prasad said wall writing had become an effective tool to spread information about the service.
“We have started the drive in every village of Ranchi and other districts. This apart, we are also distributing pamphlets and using pictorial depictions to reach out to villagers,” he said.
Mahadev Hansda, the programme manager of Save the Children, Jharkhand, said they had taken up the responsibility to promote phone numbers of the call centre, which receives telephone calls and ensure availability of ambulance at doorsteps within shortest possible time.
“We are writing or drawing the details of the project on the walls in prominent places, like panchayat building and other offices etc,” he added.
Hansda said the four districts would be covered in the firth phase, while a similar initiative would be started in rest of the districts in successive phases.