Mother and child health has been identified as key development objectives by the United Nations. However, India fares poorly on the said indicators. A woman dies in child birth in India every five minutes. A child dies in India every three seconds. More than one in five children who die within four weeks of birth is an Indian. India accounts for 2.1 million of the 9.7 million children who die worldwide annually before their fifth birthday and approximately 43% of the low birth weight infants in the world are born in India.
Given this state of affairs, Shakti Group’s support to ARMMAN India was identified as a pressing desire. ARMMAN, short for Advancing Reduction in Mortality and Morbidity of Mothers, Children and Neonates is an Indian NGO led by the founder and chairperson Dr Aparna Hegde. Their vision is to design and implement sustainable interventions to reduce maternal, neonatal and child mortality and morbidity in underprivileged urban and rural communities in India by identifying and addressing systemic gaps in both health services delivery and community health care seeking practices.
The Shakti family, besides providing the seed investment to kickstart operations, is also now a contributing part of the ARMMAN family. Members of the Shakti Group have extended their support in the implementation of the pilot of one of ARMMAN’s flagship projects, HERO (Helpline for Emergency Response Operations; http://beahero.armman.org). HERO aims to provide real time updated information about availability of intensive care beds and blood in the various ICUs and blood banks of Mumbai city through a dedicated website, phone number and sms-autoreply system.
ARMMAN’s other key project mMitra Voice and Animation is a free mobile voice messaging and animated film service in rural India that will provide culturally appropriate comprehensive information on preventive care and simple interventions to reduce perinatal mortality and morbidity. The voice messages will be in the local dialect, specific to the woman’s gestational age or the age of the newborn and will be sent weekly free of cost directly to pregnant women and mothers with newborns.
Detailed descriptions of all their work can be found at www.armman.org