Male Rickshaw Drivers Playing Key Role In Maternal Health Campaign In India
Monday, August 25, 2014
As the autorickshaws begin lining up inside the compound at 7 a.m., Vijaylakmi Sahu knows she has just 30 minutes to finish her work.
Over the next half hour, Sahu works with clockwork precision. She ensures that the temperatures of the vaccines for pregnant women and children are checked before they are packed under her supervision in cold boxes. After that, three to five autorickshaws, known as the Immunization Express, head off to the villages where mothers, children and pregnant women await them.
Suha is the block program manager of the “alternate vaccine delivery system” at the Chandanpur community health center here in this eastern state.
The program has been helping pregnant women receive their antenatal and postnatal shots and children receive a full range of immunization services. By removing the responsibility for handling and transporting the medications off health workers, the program frees health workers to focus on the task of keeping the immunization sessions running on time. With the help of the autorickshaws as the delivery method, the health workers, almost all of whom are women, can spend more time counseling pregnant women, mothers and children.