RMNCH+A India  A Strategic Approach for a Healthy Mother and Child
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RMNCH+A India A Strategic Approach for a Healthy Mother and Child


This is a small village called Rompula and
I’m Rani. This is my mom and dad. I would have had a brother, Sonu, but he died before I
was born. He wasn’t even a year old when he died. I felt sad when I heard that. My mom
got pregnant when she was 17. The health center was far away and she didn’t visit a health
clinic. She told me she didn’t know she had anemia. When Sonu was born, he was as weak
as our mom. One day, Sonu developed fever and died young. He was sick again and again.
He never received his immunizations. His health got worse. He passed away when he wasn’t even
a year old. Due to ignorance, no one understood why he died. Sonu is not alone. Did you know
that India accounts for nearly twenty percent of the world’s child deaths? 880,00 newborns
die in the first month of life and nearly 1,452,00 children in total die each year before
they turn five. Health services have gotten better, but not everywhere.I’m so lucky because
my mom survived. Like many other women in my village, she could also have died during
delivery. My mom says a lot of women in my village used to have anemia, like she did
and even though they were not healthy, they had babies. Sometimes, they would have another
baby when their first baby was barely one year old. Mostly girls married young and had
babies and they would not have their babies at the health center. To help people like
us, the government of India has added many health programs. In 2013, India developed
the RMNCH+A strategy. Government is providing services for five very important stages of
life: Newborn, Child, Adolescent, Reproductive, and Maternal because they are all connected.
RMNCH+A strategy is important because a healthy start at birth is essential for a healthy
life and being a healthy mother start from being a healthy child. That’s why my mom could
make sure I would survive and grow up healthy. First thing my mom did after Sonu’s death
was to get in touch with Ashabebe. Ashabebe made sure that my mom wouldn’t have a baby
when she was unprepared. When mom found out she was going to have me, Ashsabebe registered
her in a government hospital. She took my mom for health check ups. The health care
providers gave her iron tablets so she would be strong. Ashabebe took mom to the clinic
for delivery in free emergency transport. At the clinic, my mom had the safe delivery
but when I was born, I didn’t breathe. But the health care providers helped me breath
with a special bag and mask and then they gave me to mom so she could feed me her milk.
I was born early, preterm, like Sonu but the clinic was prepared and they made sure I stayed
skin to skin with my mom. They even had a special newborn care unit for babies who need
special care. I received my immunizations to keep me healthy. My mom and dad talked
to the health care providers about waiting for at least two years until she and I were
healthy and strong before giving me a little brother or sister. With the help of Ashabebe
and the health care providers, me and my mom are healthy and happy. I got all of my immunizations.
My mom makes sure I eat nutritious food and when I do get sick, or have diarrhea, Ashabebe
taught my mom and dad just what to do. The government of India is also taking many more
important steps to ensure that when I grow up, I will not face the same problems that
my mom faced. I will be strong and I will not suffer from anemia. My mom and lots of
her friends had to leave school even though the boys didn’t. I will finish my studies
and I will be able to talk to other young people about staying healthy. I will be able
to talk to health care providers about my questions and will wait to start my family
until I am ready for it. And when I’m ready to be a mom, my baby will be healthy, just
like me. To make sure the RMCH+A Strategy helps mothers and children throughout the
country, the government of India created the five by five matrix to show all the important
programs to keep us healthy. Government of India is making sure to reach all mothers
and babies, even in places like my village, which is in a high priority district. Some
places need extra help, so everyone can have the chance to have a healthy life. A healthy
mother can have a healthy baby, raise a healthy child that will grow to be a healthy adolescent,
who will one day start a healthy family, a healthy community, and a healthy India. The
change has started in India. The future of children like me and women like my mom looks
bright!

About Bill McCormick

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