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SuMa campaign on Safe Motherhood during COVID-19 Pandemic

“ We have a simple mobile phone in our family. Mostly it is with my husband. I got to see films on the phone of the NGO workers who came to our house . The video was that of a pregnant woman who was worried about her checkup during pregnancy. I could relate to this film, as during the lock down I was scared of going to the center and also  about my health and that of the baby. As shown in the film I contacted the nurse didi and she reassured me.(A woman from rural Udaipur, translated and edited)

“ It was fun watching those videos. The stories were  interesting and the messages very useful to relieve us as most of us were scared going for checkups.” ( A woman from rural Jhunjhunu)

With a view to  ensure that the most up-to-date and evidence-based information on COVID-19 and pregnancy/childbirth is available to frontline workers, grassroots agencies, women and communities,SuMa-Rajasthan Surakshit Matritva Gathbandhan in partnership with the White Ribbon Alliance India(WRAI) initiated a campaign during 21st June to 7th July. The campaing was coordinated by CHETNA Ahmedabad, anchor of the alliance since 2002. The campaign has been implemented in ten districts of Rajsthan- Badmer, Chittorgardh, Dausa, Jhunjhunu, Jodhpur,Jaipur,  Karauli, Rajsamand, Tonk and Udaipur district through its field based partner organisations.

A series of seven short videos on  topics such as Pregnancy, Breastfeeding, Antenatal care, Safe Delivery, Post  natal care, disrespect and stigma and positive  child birth experience.  These films have been shared with people through social media and with women though personal and group viewing using smart phones and lap tops.

During this period, the films have been shown to more than 15000 women who are pregnant, breastfeeding and in the reproductive age group. The films have also been shared with more than 3500  frontline workers(ASHAs,ANMs,Anganwadi Workers) who are using the films to discuss with women in their respective. The films have also been shared with block and district level health officials and administrators.

The response to the campaign has been immense as it has helped women and their families to shed their fears and access updated information in the pandemic situation. It has also helped the frontline workers to counsel women and families to seek pregnancy related care.

“ The films are small, visually appealing and provide updated information. These have been developed by White Ribbon Alliance India and I wish that the Department of Medical Health and Family Welfare,Government of Rajasthan adopts these films and ensures that the messages reach to all women and communities of the state.” (Vd. Smita Bajpai, State Coordinator, SuMa and Project Director,CHETNA)

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