Project name: Reducing Maternal and Newborn Deaths (ReMiND) Organisation Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Dimagi and Vatsalaya
Project Location & Coverage Area: Kaushambi, Uttar Pradesh
Project URL: www.crs.org/countries/india
Area of intervention: Health
In early 2011, the ReMiND (Reducing Maternal and Newborn Deaths) Project emerged from a partnership between Catholic Relief Services India (CRS/India) and technology innovator Dimagi, Inc. to work with government’s community health workers (ASHAs) to reduce maternal and newborn death, and improve maternal health. The objective of the ReMiND Project (2012 – 2015) is to contribute to sustained improvements in maternal, newborn and infant health outcomes in Kaushambi District. Under this program, ASHAs are provided with basic mobile phones operating Dimagi’s open source – CommCare which equips them with multi-media job aids to support client assessment, counseling, and early identification, treatment and/or rapid referral of pregnancy, postpartum and newborn complications. The content includes pregnancy, postpartum and infant referral modules which are aligned with the existing government health department training modules and guidelines for ASHAs, allowing them to quickly adapt the programme, instead of learning new ones. This programme works on a mobile application with five modules to guide the ASHA worker and support the job of ASHA facilitators.
To accommodate ASHAs who may be illiterate, these five modules also provide audio-visual clips to provide health-related guidance to support client assessment, counselling, early identification and treatment and/or rapid referral of pregnancy, postpartum and newborn complications. ReMiND also tracks in real-time and sends out SMS reminders to health workers to conduct regular home visits and postpartum visits. Once a birth is reported, interactive voice response reminders prompt ASHA to conduct a postpartum visit until that visit is recorded.
Reach & Road Ahead
The application is being used by 259 ASHAs. So far, it has reached 368,276 people in two blocks and has supported 8679 pregnant women and cared for 8189 newborn. The project has helped 71 per cent of the pregnant women receive care during pregnancy, 80 per cent saved money during delivery and 30 per cent received ante-natal care checkups. Improvement in ASHAs’ high-impact knowledge of prenatal and newborn care has risen 24 per cent. ASHA’s have also reached over 2,700 pregnant women and over 45,000 family members and friends to provide some form of health education.
Following the progress made by using the software with 10 ASHAs in Kaushambi District, CRS got private funds in 2012 to support the start-up of the ReMiND Project with all ASHAs in Manjhanpur block of Kaushambi in partnership with Vatsalaya and with Dimagi. Additional USAID funding awarded to Dimagi helped to support scale-up of ReMiND to a second block Manjhanpur in 2013.