NHM, Tata Steel and AIF to Improve Access to Maternal and Neonatal Care in Jharkhand

Business Wire India
An Engagement Coordination and Arrangement (ECA) on Maternal, Adolescent, Child care and Nutrition in Kolhan division in Jharkhand between National Health Mission, Tata Steel Foundation and American India Foundation under the flagship project MANSI+ (Maternal and Neonatal Survival Initiative+) was signed today at the office of National Health Mission (NHM), Ranchi.

After a decade of successful implementation of MANSI across 1700 villages in 12 blocks across three districts of Jharkhand and Odisha, an enhanced version of MANSI viz MANSI+ is being rolled out through the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model in the Kolhan region of Jharkhand covering all 38 developmental blocks across three districts viz East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum and Seraikela. This programme will cover
5000 villages
across over a period of 5 years (June, 2021 - May, 2026) and will reach out to approximately four million marginalized and vulnerable tribal populations in the region.

The ECA signed by Sri Bidyanand Sharma Pankaj, Additional Mission Director, NHM, Mr. Anupam Sarkar, Senior Program Manager, AIF and Dr Anuj Bhatnagar, Head, Public Health, Tata Steel.

Shri Bidyanand Sharma Pankaj expressed his opinion and said: “MANSI has emerged as a good, collaborative programme in achieving the SDG goals. We are happy to extend this partnership towards taking ahead MANSI+ across Kolhan district in Jharkhand. We also look forward to extending the project to other geographies in the state.”

The agreement fortifies the partnership between NHM, TSF and AIF and the commitment to improve healthcare services in Jharkhand. The partnership will also develop, test and implement innovative public health solutions to co-create and scale sustainable impact.

“AIF is proud to partner with National Health Mission and TSF to better serve the marginalized tribal population of Jharkhand. The program not only furthers AIF’s mission of improving the lives of India’s underprivileged, with a special focus on women, children, and youth but also aims to leverage the innovative low-cost technology interventions to improve service quality care under the public health system in the community. This will tangibly strengthen existing Community based institutions to advance maternal and child health outcomes across the region,” said
Mathew Joseph, Country Director, AIF.

Mr Sourav Roy, Chief, Corporate Social Responsibility, Tata Steel, said: “MANSI+ is the consequence of more than a decade of persistent effort which has yielded benchmark reductions in infant and maternal mortality rates while building a stellar public private partnership model which emanates from Jharkhand. The Tata Steel Foundation remains in gratitude for our collaboration with the National Health Mission and AIF. And indebted to the trust of communities and Sahiyya didis as we build one of the largest maternal and neonatal health programmes in the country over the next decade.”

The recent ‘BRICS Solution for Sustainable Development Goal 3’ award conferred on MANSI in 2021 acknowledges MANSI’s contribution as a community-focused public health intervention that addresses rural India’s challenges in accessing quality and affordable health care for mothers and new-born children at the household level. At its core, MANSI is the empowerment of ASHAs (Accredited Social Health Activists) - frontline health care workers in rural communities referred to as ‘Sahiyyas’ in Jharkhand. Sahiyyas have been identified under the NHM in each village, to bridge the last mile gap between community and public health facilities. Under MANSI, Sahiyyas are trained in pre-validated, low-cost and community centric health interventions to provide appropriate interventions to pregnant women and new-born children. This is followed by onsite hand holding, supportive supervision and robust MIS.

An external evaluation of MANSI Phase-I piloted in Seraikela block over five years (2009-2014), was reflective of the significant reduction in Neonatal mortality - 46%, Infant mortality - 39% and Under-5 (U5) mortality - 43.6%. Further, the project was scaled up in another 12 blocks over a period of 5 years (2015-2020) where reduction in Neonatal mortality - 41%; Infant mortality - 43% and U5 mortality - 47% was recorded. MANSI focused on home-based maternal care, new-born care and management of common illnesses in children under 5 years of age, towards mortality reduction in these groups.

MANSI+ in its new enhanced avatar has been conceived as a life cycle approach, seeking to reduce preventable maternal, new-born and under five years aged child mortality by 50% (from baseline) and improved health outcomes in adolescents and young children in continuum of care. This will be achieved by strengthening the capacity of the Government frontline workers ASHAs, ANMs, AWWs and school teachers, to deliver quality home-based care, empowering adolescents and targeting critical issues at the community related to maternal health and new born mortality. Further, MANSI+ will drive social behavioral change communication (BCC) campaign to raise awareness and shift social norms surrounding prevention of early marriages, teenage pregnancies and spacing of births. This is expected to save and improve lives, focus on areas such as maternal and child health, family planning, nutrition and early childhood development. Community-led institutions like Village Health Sanitation and Nutrition Committee (VHSNC) would be strengthened by intensive intervention by the project. The program shall support the health system for optimal outreach and access to services.

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