A community project in India

Fridman, G.

Jordemodern 101(6): 205-210


ISSN/ISBN: 0021-7468
PMID: 3391830
Document Number: 366924
A report is given of a visit to an Indian village community project which is supported by a small Swedish foundation. The project was started about 40 years ago by a female relative of Mahatma Gandhi. The community is a small village of about 2000 inhabitants and consists of an irrigated agricultural project, a school through 10th grade, a small hospital, a home for 140 poor or orphan girls and a nursery. The program employs 12 community health workers who have some healthcare training. Each worker cares for 200-250 households and usually knows his/her families well. Primary emphasis is on care of children which includes help with nutrition and a vaccination program. For every 4 community health workers there is an auxiliary nurse midwife who has 3 years special training following 10th grade. The midwives check up on pregnant women once a month through the 7th month, 2 visits in the 8th month and once/week in the 9th month. Undernourishment and anemia are the most common problems of pregnancy. Children are often born in the parents' home without any trained obstetric help. In spite of this, maternal mortality is very low. Even infection from childbirth is extremely rare. The visitor was particularly impressed by the respect and affection everyone in the village showed for children and for each other.

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