Abstract of Dissertation

Agency : Maternal Newborn Child Health Nutrition, MNCHN, Mobile Health, Health Seeking Behavior

Objective : The key objective of the study was to assess the current health seeking behavior of the community living in the intervened slum clusters of South Delhi, in relation to MNCHN services.

Methodology : A cross sectional descriptive study was conducted in ten intervened slum clusters. Lot Quality Assurance sampling method was adopted to draw a sample size of 190 households. The respondents were further categorized into pregnant women, lactating mothers and mothers of child under 5 years of age. Quantitative data was collected using the structured questionnaire to gather information about current health seeking behavior in relation to ANC, breast feeding, growth monitoring, and immunization and childhood illnesses.

Findings : An increase in the utilization of ANC services from 50 to 88%, home deliveries has reduced from 82% to 33%. More than 67% visit to MHU for ANC checkups. Only 56% pregnant ladies were actually consuming IFA tablets in spite of a distribution rate of 80%. More than third fourth of sampled women were unaware of factors that can lead to high risk pregnancy. Almost 80 % children were completely immunized. There was 67% prevalence of Diarrhea and 36% of households were following self treatment approach for recurrently occurring diarrhea in children. Only 13% out of 70 mothers were keeping record of their child growth and 40 were unaware of the reasons that can lead to malnutrition.

Recommendations : The utilization of ANC has increased to a remarkable level by meeting the demand with the aid of MHU. Therefore, it has brought a positive change in the health seeking behavior of the community. Further, there is a need to sensitize the community about MNHCN practices and aware them about preventive health seeking behavior with the help of counseling session and community level groups.

Save the Children-India, has set up a system of comprehensive healthcare delivery in urban slums of Delhi. The project focus is on empowering by equipping community with health related awareness, thus catalyzing community level actions to increase demand for quality healthcare services. There are two key components; to catalyze community level actions for sensitizing people about the importance of health (specially maternal, child health, nutrition and sanitation) services and behaviors and to meet the resultant demand for services in the selected slum communities of Delhi, by providing services through Mobile Health Units. Almost half of the mothers did not avail ANC services before the intervention and 82% women chose to deliver at homes. It has been three years since the implementation of aforementioned project and there was a need to generate evidences and assess the current health status of the population covered under project. Further, to understand the overall improvement in the intervened area in relation to demand and awareness of MNCHN services.