I visited Lakhisarai and Begusarai district of Bihar on 17th February, 2016. During my visit, I met the ANMs who have been trained through AMANAT (Apatkalin Matritva evam Navjat Tatparta) – CARE India’s mobile nurse mentoring intervention at the Barahiya PHC in Lakhisarai district. The ANMs exuded confidence and seemed to be well equipped to save lives of mothers and children during emergency situations.
After that, I attended a Village Health Sanitation and Nutrition Day in Chakka village where community health workers provide last mile access to health services. I could see the convergence of the Health and Nutrition department at the grassroots level. The ANM, Anganwadi worker and ASHA worked in tandem with each other and provided a range of health services including immunization and ante-natal care among others. The frontline health workers also engaged in inter-personal communication with the mothers using an innovative mobile based job aid created by our Ananya partners-BBC Media Action called ‘Gupshup Potli’.
I was elated to see how CARE India is supporting the government health functionaries like Medical Officer In-Charge (MOIC) and nurses to strengthen the quality of care in public health facilities. Our staff’s effort in building the capacities of community health workers has enhanced the effectiveness of outreach services in Bihar.
The ownership of the Maternal and Child Health program among the government functionaries and our staff was praiseworthy. CARE India’s ability to work in close coordination with the government has helped in providing quality care and saving lives. The commitment shown by people at the field level workers in-spite of all the systemic challenges was commendable. Besides being proud of how their work has resulted in improvements they were mature enough to acknowledge that it’s a long way ahead.
At the end of the visit, I felt its Bihar’s ability to shine through in spite of all odds that makes people take notice.