|Community dais receive special training.
| || Awareness programs on reproductive health issues coupled with a weekly gynaecologists and ante natal care clinic address the reproductive health needs of the community. |
The level of knowledge about reproductive health, sex and sexuality is dismally low in the basti. The little knowledge on sex was obtained either from the peer group or through mass media. Misconceptions are common. Moreover, it is very common for the girls to be married off at an early age. Early marriages not only increase the maternal mortality and morbidity during childbirth but also the babies born are low-birth weight babies with consequent malnutrition and increased infant mortality.
Incidence of vaginal infections amongst the girls and women reporting to the HIK health center is very high – at least 50 percent girls complain of vaginal discharge.
The women have few rights where marriage, sex and child bearing are concerned. There is no family planning and women have multiple pregnancies in rapid succession leading to all kinds of problems. Level of menstrual hygiene is poor.
Awareness generation on reproductive health issues, including safe sex, safe motherhood, STI/RTI, HIV/AIDS, family planning, male responsibilities and contraception. The communication strategy includes a variety of media, including sex-segregated group meetings, camps and melas, workshops and training sessions with peer educators, government health providers and local service providers.
An ante natal care clinic is held weekly for pregnant women. Antenatal care includes the following services: antenatal check up, immunization of pregnant women, iron and folic acid supplementation, identification of high risk pregnancies and timely referral and follow up of these pregnancies. Women are counseled on safe motherhood, post natal care, care of just born, breast feeding, nutritional requirement during pregnancy, personal hygiene, safe delivery practices, importance of treatment of both partners for STI/RTI during pregnancy and the importance of going in for voluntary testing and counseling for HIV/AIDS.
The program also trains traditional birth attendants to conduct safe home deliveries and to identify the danger signs during pregnancy and refer high risk pregnancies to a hospital. Safe delivery kits are distributed free of cost to these trained birth attendants.
In the gynae clinic women and adolescent girls are able to access the services of a gynecologist for treatment of their medical problems and with the counselor they can discuss in total confidence their problems, clarify doubts on prevention and appropriate treatment of STIs, and when and where to go for HIV testing. Intrauterine contraceptive device insertion, oral pills and family planning options are also discussed in this clinic. Pap smear camps are held every six months for screening of genital cancers.
A gynecologist visits the clinic once a week so that pregnant women can receive antenatal care and medical problems can be identified and treated properly. The Community workers identify those pregnant women in the community who are not accessing any antenatal care facility and they motivate these women to come to the clinic for antenatal care.