July 18, 2024

Health Mettler Institute

Healthy LifeStyle & Education

How Indian health-care workers use WhatsApp to save pregnant women

How Indian health-care workers use WhatsApp to save pregnant women

Over the past 5 a long time, Patil has qualified hundreds of ASHAs from diverse states to use WhatsApp to debunk false info. 

Maya Patil, an ASHA from Maharashtra’s Kutwad village, says she’s discovered comparable beneficial outcomes immediately after making use of WhatsApp. She’s been working in the subject for 13 yrs, and in 2018 she satisfied a lady in her ninth thirty day period of being pregnant with slipping hemoglobin amounts who experienced recently been diagnosed with anemia. She tried to connect the female to the related general public health care provider, but the spouse and children wanted her to use normal solutions to enhance her hemoglobin amounts.

Patil requested the expecting girl to start out consuming pomegranate juice, which has been demonstrated to raise hemoglobin degrees, but her mother reported pomegranate juice results in kidney stones. Patil tried for quite a few hours to make clear the science, but the household was not confident, nor have been they interested in anemia medicines.

As a pattern, Patil experienced been using pictures of hundreds of regional newspaper content addressing prevalent health misinformation that were penned by medical doctors. In 1, she located specifics about the gains of pomegranate seeds and juice. She sent the expecting lady the posting in a WhatsApp concept. Then she identified additional applicable YouTube movies recorded in Marathi, the woman’s language. Immediately after 10 this sort of messages, she last but not least had an affect the loved ones permitted the lady to observe her tips, and within just 12 days, her hemoglobin concentrations experienced improved. 

They worked with each other for a few weeks, and when the girl gave beginning, it was a typical supply with a wholesome new child weighing six-and-a-half kilos.

Creating a safer room for women of all ages

However they had productively resolved a fantastic offer of misinformation in excess of various many years, many ASHAs were being however looking at expecting ladies who were being also afraid to converse about their pregnancies for concern of their in-guidelines and husbands. Even in major, ASHA-led team messages, several gentlemen in the local community responded with “ill-educated remarks,” says Netradipa Patil, the ASHA union leader.

Maya Patil equally laments the persistence of hazardous medical data handed down by loved ones. “The major target of any bogus news similar to being pregnant is to make females go through,” she claims. “Many older women of all ages say that they had suffered these rituals throughout their pregnancy, so why should really the next generation not experience this?” 

Maya Patil sits speaking with one-on-one with an expectant mother
Along with guaranteeing safer childbirth, ASHA employees are also accountable for giving right postnatal health care to community women of all ages. In this article, Maya Patil clarifies how to choose treatment of a new child.


So, in 2018 and 2019, ASHAs began to type hyperlocal all-women of all ages WhatsApp teams. With a smaller group of just 15 to 20 expecting females and their close woman relatives, Netradipa Patil would emphasis on helping them fully grasp the scientific aspects of care. “It was difficult, but easier than dealing with hundreds of people today in 1 go.” Following six months of check operates, women in the teams even described speaking about misinformation in their homes.