What’s the Initiative all about?
DEHAT’s “Light -a-Life” initiative is all about changing the community behaviour towards traditional health practices, generating the demands for all of the available govt. health services and strengthening the govt. health service systems. Additionally, efforts of Light-a-Life are dedicated for promoting newborn care, reducing malnutrition in children, decreasing infant and maternal mortality rates, and improving all health problems related to adolescent girls and women by providing awareness towards various consequences of girl child marriages and causes of women’s health issues such as poor sanitation practices etc.
How does it work?
We at DEHAT, are committed to provide robust health and nutrition services that save most lives of the children and ensure they grow up healthy. We work to improve the health and nutrition of mothers, newborn babies and children, with special attention to poor and vulnerable communities such as adolescent girls. We work in hard to reach and impoverished communities, as well as with families hard hit by natural disasters and conflict.
To achieve the aim of Light-a-Life, we bring these six areas of interventions at one platform
- Maternal and Reproductive Health
- Newborn Health
- Adolescent Health
- Child Survival
- Health and Nutrition Services in Emergencies
How do we do it?
DEHAT works intensively with communities on behavioral change in traditional practices related to community health.
- Promoting institutional deliveries, thermal care, five cleans (in case of home deliveries), early initiation of colostrum feeding within one hour of birth, exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months, infant and young child feeding practices, hand washing and using iodized salt are some key areas of interventions.
- Celebration of “World Breast Feeding Week”, “World Newborn Care Week” as important days are also some key events.
DEHAT has experienced that existing Government services are in place and sometimes even at the doorstep but communities are not aware of them, and due to this, the community demand is weak.
- Intensive efforts towards community’s demand generation by making them aware of the need of immunizations, importance of institutional deliveries, benefits of Govt. health and nutrition schemes like Integrated Child Development Schemes-ICDS (Popular as “Anganwadi”), Janani Suraksha Yojna (JSY), Janani Shishu Suraksha Yojna (JSSK), National Immunization Program, Family Planning Services, Health Insurance Schemes etc.
- Organizing interface programs between community and Govt. health care providers.
- Celebration of “Baal Swasthya Poshan Mah-BSPM (Child Health Nutrition Month)” which is organized during June and December for providing vitamin-A drops along with other health and nutrition services, “Village Health and Nutrition Day-VHND” in each Gram Panchayat level, “Weekly Health and Nutrition Day” at ICDS Center level and other opportunities.
DEHAT always supports Govt. efforts to improve health statuses
- Strengthening Government systems through capacity building and hand holding with grass-root level Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and Government stakeholders for ensuring community participation.
- Support of Government front line programs, participatory planning, awareness generation about schemes and community-led advocacy. For instance, DEHAT is working with ICDS centres to strengthen the govt. scheme “SABLA” to improve the health status of adolescent girls by organizing for them regular meetings, providing leadership training and exposures to role models and also creating community support to ICDS workers etc.