About the theme
Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal, Child and Adolescent Healthcare
Reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent healthcare (RMNCHA+) is a key thematic area for Tata Trusts. India is the world’s second-most populated country and observes over 30 million births annually. It also ranks among the top five countries in the world in terms of absolute numbers of maternal and child death rates. In 2010, India recorded around 19% (56,000 deaths) of all global maternal deaths. In absolute numbers, India also has the largest number of child deaths in the world – approximately 1.58 million children under the age of five die annually.
In 1990, when the average global under-five mortality rate was 88 per 1,000 live births, India’s child mortality rate was 115. Much progress has been made in the intervening years. In 2010, India’s child mortality rate of 59 per 1,000 live births almost equalled the global average of 57 per 1,000 live births.
Despite this improvement, multiple challenges remain around maternal and neonatal care. These include timely treatment during pregnancy to identify and treat causes of maternal deaths like post-partum haemorrhage, sepsis, hypertensive disorders, etc. The key challenges in addressing neonatal deaths remain the treatment of premature pregnancies, infections like pneumonia and septicaemia, and asphyxia. Many lives can be saved if these issues are identified early and treated appropriately.
The Trusts’ interventions in RMNCHA+ are focused on programmes in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, covering 8 districts and over 80 facilities. The Trusts are involved in providing training to accredited social health activists (ASHAs) and auxiliary nurse midwives (ANMs) in identifying and treating high-risk pregnancies, as well as identifying and resolving infrastructural gaps in MNCH facilities. These interventions focus on using technology to do these tasks at scale, while also monitoring and evaluating the Trusts’ activities and outputs to improve programmatic performance.