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Zarana and her husband, from village Deogaon in Jharsuguda district are all praise for village health worker ASHA Maithili who visited them regularly on the birth of their second baby girl child Muskaan in 2015. The health worker not only had guided Zarana during her pregnancy but also visited the mother and the new born baby girl regularly at 3, 6 and 9 months under a new initiative started by the state of Odisha under HBNC+. Zarana informed that with her earlier son the immunization was delayed due to apprehension towards vaccines, the baby had low weight gain and had frequent bouts of diarrhoea. All these practices led to poor health of the child and made him fall sick frequently, increasing the out of pocket expenses of the family.

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However, this time for the second child Zarana followed the ASHA worker’s advice. ASHA demonstrated the best practices to Zarana and her family with the use of flip charts. The mother and the family were educated on importance of exclusive breast feeding, initiation of complimentary food, prophylactic distribution of preparing ORS solution in case of diarrhoea, administering Iron and Folic Acid Syrup (IFA) syrup twice a week, correct positioning of baby for breast feeding, vaccination schedule, and following good hygiene practices such as importance of hand washing. The family was informed on the need to play with the child and were taught on increasing communication skills to play, sing and speak with the child.

The Home Based Newborn Care Plus (HBNC+) is an innovation package designed by NIPI New Born Project under Norway India Partnership Initiative in the 13 districts across the four NIPI support states of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Rajasthan. HBNC+ packages multiple evidence-based interventions for improving survival and development of infants through incentivized structured home visits by the community health worker. It intends targeting the key causes of childhood deaths and aims to reduce pneumonia and diarrhoea related morbidity and prevent malnutrition through a set of evidence-based interventions.

For more information on Home Based Newborn Care Plus (HBNC+), click here

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