The City Initiative for Newborn Health worked to improve the health and survival of mothers and newborns among slum communities in Mumbai. The project strengthened community awareness and action on maternal and newborn health as well as improved the care available at municipal primary health care facilities.
Slum populations in India rank among the poorest, most under-serviced and consequently, most vulnerable groups in terms of health. Available health indicators for the urban poor compare unfavourably with both rural and national averages. In contrast to rural areas, the extremely poor health and nutrition outcomes in urban contexts such as Mumbai persist even with the existence of geographically accessible health infrastructure and services.
An action research study, the City Initiative for Newborn Health (CINH) was initiated aiming at lowering maternal and newborn morbidity and neonatal mortality among underprivileged slum communities in Mumbai. The project covered a population of approximately 400,000 spread over 24 slum clusters across 6 wards of the city. In addition to working with municipal health service providers to improve maternal and neonatal services, the project sought to mobilise the community to improve maternal and neonatal care practices and care seeking. It also worked to strengthen primary care to increase the availability and quality of decentralised antenatal, postnatal, and neonatal services at primary healthcare facilities.
CINH was a collaboration between ICICI Foundation, Society for Nutrition, Education and Health Action (SNEHA), the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (BMC) and the University College London Centre for International Health and Development.
The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai is supporting these project interventions and strengthening its urban health set up.The project has already been scaled up by Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai to cover Mumbai’s western suburbs. Government tertiary care facilities have started backward referrals of patients from hospitals to health posts and maternity homes, which has led to a reduction of overcrowding in tertiary-level government hospitals