Background The Sure Start project is a seven year initiative implemented by PATH to improve maternal and newborn health and save lives in India. In Pune, Maharashtra, Sure Start focused on reducing maternal and newborn mortality rates and HIV among pregnant women, including the additional health care needs of HIV positive pregnant women. The objective was to raise awareness of HIV among pregnant women and motivate them to undergo HIV testing and to test the feasibility of convergence of HIV/AIDS and MNH for synergy in impact. Monitoring of Maternal and Newborn Status (MOMS) committees were involved for regular monitoring and follow-up in the community.
Methods A quasi-experimental study was conducted with pre- and post-intervention surveys, without a comparison group. Quantitative methods were used to capture changes associated with implementation of a Common Minimum Package and qualitative methods to assess model specific changes.
Results Percent of women who received three or more antenatal checkups increased from 83% to 97% from baseline to end-line, the percent of women initiating breastfeeding within one hour increased from 47% to 52% during the same period. Percent of women having institutional deliveries increased from 84% to 95%. Percent of mothers who visited a health facility for a checkup during the postnatal period increased from 49% to 73%. 92% of women had heard about HIV/AIDS, among these women 69% knew about medication available to reduce the risk of transmission to a baby. Of 94% of those who knew about HIV/AIDS, 83% had undergone testing. Of the women advised to go for HIV testing 51% reported that flash cards used by Sure Start provided information about HIV.
Conclusion The model demonstrated the importance of MOMS committees in creating awareness and expanding knowledge. A convergence model helps in mainstreaming HIV positive women to avail of quality MNH care.
- MOMS Committees
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