Village Health Sanitation and Nutrition Day (VHSND)
Village Health Sanitation and Nutrition Day

Village Health Sanitation and Nutrition Day (VHSND)

Village Health Sanitation and Nutrition Day (VHSND)

The Village Health Sanitation and Nutrition Day (VHSND) is a Government initiative to improve access to Maternal New born and Child Health (MNCH), nutrition and sanitation services at the village level in India. These are scheduled to take place in every village, across the country, once a month.

On VHSNDs, Community Health Workers (CHWs) that include Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) and Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) conduct sessions on health, nutrition and sanitation (mostly hygiene related) for community members they mobilize from their catchment areas. The Auxiliary Nurses Midwives (ANMs) in the meantime provide MNCH services at the chosen locations for the same. This presence of all three cadres of CHWs at the same place every month holds the potential of being developed as a platform for ensuring high quality and effective MNCH service delivery and information dissemination.

The Government of Bihar has in fact, used this platform to leverage their Routine Immunization program, and has improved its complete immunization coverage from the low 30s in 2006-07 to around 69% in 2011-12. Currently on VHSNDs, there are about 3-4 CHWs catering to an average of 15-20 beneficiaries at VHSND sites, for at least 3-4 hours. While the services currently provided at these are those of RI,TT and dissemination of IFA tablets for pregnant women, the value of these platforms when strengthened and developed on, are immense in Bihar, especially in context of augmenting the current ongoing outreach initiatives enabled by the Ananya grant in the state.

The proposed approach is built on the accumulated experience of the CARE IFHI project in working with CHWs. The approach of leveraging community level platform of VHSND is an integral part of the TSU project, with district and block teams working towards the same already. Additionally, improving the range and quality of services being delivered at VHSNDs, is a stated priority of the state government, and therefore in turn, contribute to sustainability.

Bihar