Bihar has one of the highest Maternal Mortality Rates (MMR) in India. In 2016, Bihar’s MMR stood at 165 per 100,000 live births. For most rural communities where MMR is relatively high, information and access to healthcare is almost absent.
This is where the role of an Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) becomes crucial. ASHAs are community health workers who act as a bridge between the public healthcare system and communities that require medical help.
One of the most important contribution of ASHA workers is how they have helped increase the number of institutional deliveries in many parts of the country. As of 2016, 64% of childbirths in Bihar were Institutional deliveries.
Here’s the story of Arti Devi from Bihar’s Samastipur. She suffered a postpartum haemorrhage, a major cause for maternal deaths globally. But thanks to ASHA Baby Chand, who created awareness among families in her panchayat, on the danger signs of postpartum haemorrhage. This helped Arti’s mother-in-law to seek immediate medical help as soon as she detected it. Arti Devi and her daughter are now safe and sound.