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The Antara Foundation is presenting at the International Conference on Birth Defects and Disabilities in the Developing World (ICBD) 2023

We are thrilled to announce that our organization, The Antara Foundation (TAF), has been accepted to present three posters at the International Conference on Birth Defects and Disabilities in the Developing World (ICBD) 2023, being held from March 1st-4th in Santiago, Chile. The theme of the 2023 edition of the conference is Accelerating Action for Birth Defects and Disabilities: Surveillance, Prevention, Diagnosis, Management and Family-Centered Care. At The Antara Foundation, we are currently working across 8 districts in rural Madhya Pradesh. As part of our health interventions, we work with Community Health Workers (CHWs) within the public health system to facilitate equitable, sustainable, and scalable solutions on Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, and Adolescent Health (RMNCH+A) outcomes. Our organization prioritizes timely service delivery along the continuum of care contributing towards improved prevention, management, and surveillance of birth defects. TAF is excited to
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Against all odds: A heartwarming story of community support and government intervention

Simple advocacy, timely information sharing, and the support of a committed frontline worker was the magic formula to this success story. On a recent visit to village Chougawan in Maheshwar block in rural Khargone (MP), the ASHA Didi Farida Bi – she had a fractured leg, nevertheless she still tagged along with us—my colleagues and I visited a home where newborn baby Jay was born with a terrible anomaly. He didn’t have an anus to pass feces. Anjali, the mother, realized at the Community Health Centre (CHC) facility itself that there was a problem, since the baby was feeding well, but not passing stool. The baby’s stomach was getting considerably swollen, minute by minute. When this was pointed out to the Mandleshwar facility doctor and nurses, they sent the baby with the family to far away Indore city in MP, to the Government run Maharaja Yeshwantrao Hospital, that could deal with this kind of serious problem – a trans colostomy. The doctor at the hospital there inserted a tube in the c

Vaccination Woes: The Everyday Struggles of the Women of Pahargarh

  As part of The Antara Foundation’s (TAF) health interventions, we regularly assist the frontline healthcare workers during the weekly Village Health, Sanitation and Nutrition Day (VHSND). During this day, the community can freely interact with the healthcare workers and gain basic health services and information at the Anganwadi Centre (childcare centre). On VHSND, an Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) administers vaccines to children under 5 years. In addition, she is supported by the ASHA and Anganwadi Worker who perform the necessary antenatal checkups for pregnant women and give counseling to pregnant women and those identified under high-risk pregnancy (HRP). Typically, a woman who comes under HRP lies at a heightened risk of having a complicated delivery – endangering her life as well as that of her child. I first met Amrita, a 20-year-old mother, at a VHSND in Kishorpura village, in Madhya Pradesh’s Morena district. The village, predominantly occupied by the Adivasi community, is

Musings of a Newbie - Sahil Philip

  With one month having rolled by since I joined The Antara Foundation (TAF), I decided to pen down and reflect on my journey so far. After having traversed for miles to reach the remote edges of the district, hopping, and skipping around the murky trenches and eating my meals on the road, I have garnered myriad experiences over the course of thirty plus odd days. Whilst documenting everything that I have undergone over the past one month might seem a tad bit long and overwhelmingly emotive to write, I could do a better job salami slicing my learnings into small little nuggets. Patience - The first and most important skill that I have learnt over the past one month - perhaps the sharpest tool in my negotiation arsenal. Much of my work involves educating, counseling, and informing the community and frontline healthcare workers on various aspects of health and nutrition. The work isn’t rocket science, but it takes an effort to ensure that your message has been passed on, understood, and

In rural India: Poshan Maah for every mother and child

On a warm summer day, I met Surekha at an Anganwadi Centre in Chhindwara district, Madhya Pradesh. Surekha had recently given birth to her third baby. After resting for a week, she was back in the cotton fields, working as a daily wage labourer. The cracks of her palms and feet were filled with mud as she entered the Anganwadi Centre during her lunch break. While talking to her, I learned that all her three children were falling into different stages of malnutrition, including her newborn who was only 2 kilos, weak and malnourished. The Anganwadi Worker (AWW) had identified Surekha’s older two children as Severely Acute Malnourished (SAM) and the third child as Moderately Acute Malnourished (MAM) after weighing them. I saw the confusion Surekha felt while listening to these words. She was trying hard to make sense of the phrases SAM and MAM, but to this mother who struggles every day to make ends meet, correcting an invisible illness seemed like a futile effort. Surekha’s story mir

Heroes of social change: rural India’s ASHA and Anganwadi workers

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Breastfeeding: Treating Male Partners As Important Contributors In Postnatal Care

A few days ago, Hemlata, a Nurse Mentor at The Antara Foundation (TAF), met Manoj, 25, and his wife Divya, 23, at a hospital in Madhya Pradesh’s Chhindwara district. The young couple had welcomed their baby girl less than 24 hours earlier. Manoj, as elated as he was, stood at a distance while the nurse mentor helped his wife properly nurse the child. Manoj’s inquisitive eyes peered at his little family, hoping to understand his participation as a father. On observing this, Hemlata invited the husband in and gently guided him on how he could help and support his wife. As part of TAF’s nurse mentoring intervention, we enhance ill-equipped labour rooms and improve the knowledge and skills of delivery nurses. Apart from this, TAF nurse mentors, along with frontline health workers, also help in counselling families on antenatal care. Hemlata advised the husband on how to hold the baby and the importance of creating a calm environment for his wife. She explained to him the potential health r