JSCD and UNICEF collaborated to provide support to the marginalized pregnant females. This collaboration resulted in the planning and successful realization of the activity, ‘support to the poorest of poor’.
Specific objective of this activity was to motivate and counsel pregnant females to;
1. Seek regular antenatal and postnatal care.
2. Prepare in advance for the delivery and any obstacles that may arise in due course
3. Deliver in the presence of skilled birth attendant
4. Take proper care of the newborn; delayed bathing and early initiation of breast feeding
5. On family planning.
For the successful realization of the above objective, JSCD with considerate guidance from UNICEF devised a plan with the following important steps;
1. Identification of vulnerable population
2. Validation of the data
3. Distribution of newborn kits
The initial steps of identification and validation were conducted from July-December 2013. The third and last part of the activity was initiated from 1st January 2014. The activity has been summarized as follows.
1. Identification of marginalized population
JSCD approached Benazir Income Support Program for the acquisition of data of vulnerable population through National Program for Family Planning and Primary Health Care. The requested data disclosed approximately 2000 households per Union Council resulting in a total of 24,000 households in 12 Union Councils.
2. Validation of acquired data
A validation exercise was undertaken to affirm the accuracy of data received. Additional efforts were made to identify households with pregnant women. The cluster coordinators in each Union Council were provided with the BISP data of their respective Union Council. Thereafter a door to door approach was taken to validate, identify and register pregnant women in each household.
3. Distribution of Newborn Kits
In order to achieve the specific objectives of this activity, a ‘support to the poorest of poor form’ was designed by JSCD. This form addressed various aspects of antenatal care, birth preparedness, care of the newborn and family planning. The form was distributed to cluster coordinators of each Union Council. The registered pregnant women were then approached by the female cluster coordinator of the respective Union Council twice with the support to the poorest of poor form. The first meeting was conducted at the beginning of third trimester and the second meeting was conducted around the expected date of delivery. During this one-on-one interaction the registered pregnant females were motivated to; seek regular antenatal and postnatal care, prepare for delivery and any delays that may arise in due course, delivery by a skilled birth attendant, proper care of newborn with attention towards delayed bathing and early initiation of breast feeding and importance of family planning.
Successful completion of this form at the second visit (before the expected date of delivery) entitled the pregnant female to a Newborn Kit and monetary aid for transport to a health facility at the time of delivery (if required). A newborn baby kit carried;
1. Two baby suits
2. One baby blanket
3. One small towel for cleaning the newborn
4. A baby cap and mittens
5. Two pairs of baby socks
The above mentioned were packed in a personalized gift bag with printed messages regarding newborn care, breast feeding, delayed bathing and birth spacing, destined to serve as a reminder for the new mother.
The activity of support to the poorest of poor reached to a total of 1,848 beneficiaries from January- December 2014.