Written by Shobha Rani
Our health supervisors placed at Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital (Sion Hospital) enrol pregnant women who come there for the antenatal check up, for the mMitra service. Once enrolled, these women start receiving voice calls that provides them with timed and targeted information on preventive care and simple interventions for a healthy pregnancy and delivery.
Almost 3000 women have already been enrolled at the hospital for the service and are receiving the voice calls every week. Our team is working very hard to make the program a success and sometimes the feedback coming from the beneficiaries makes all the hard work worthwhile and rejuvenates the team. This is one such story of appreciation that was received at the hospital.
One of the pregnant women enrolled for our voice call service had changed her phone number and consequently she stopped receiving the voice calls. She and her husband came to Sion hospital to meet out health worker and gave them her new phone number. She wanted to ensure that she did not lose out on the calls that she had been receiving till date. The woman did not own a phone and had registered her husband’s number with us. She told us that both of them would wait eagerly for the voice calls and used to listen to them diligently. They found the calls highly important and informative. Both of them did not want to miss out on the calls and hence she figured that the best way to ensure that was to come to the hospital herself and give the new number, even though we have a missed call facility for change in number.
This is her first pregnancy and the information she has received through voice calls has aided her in dealing with all the challenges. She was clueless about many things and was dependent on her friends and neighbors for any kind of information regarding pregnancy. She also has a thyroid problem and would get anxious when her body underwent various changes. There were times when her neighbors would come up with explanations about the changes and would relate stories of what could go wrong, but the voice calls helped her debunk these myths and become confident in understanding and embracing the changes.
Every kick of the baby makes her happy and assures her that baby is doing well. She has become more confident about articulating her concerns with the doctor as she is armed with relevant and accurate information. She confided in the health worker and told her that she eats green leafy vegetables only because they are good for the baby, but otherwise she is not fond of them. The messages have enabled her to make healthy choices for herself and the baby. Such feedback energizes our team and they put in their all to ensure that maximum women have access to our voice call service. After all it makes ones day to know that in some way we are contributing to the healthy beginning of a new life for the child and a happy woman in her new role as a mother.