Maternal Health Rights Campaign (MHRC)- Madhya Pradesh
MHRC is a network of civil societies which aims to strengthen the health care system such that women especially those from the socially excluded communities have access to maternal health services of quality and are free of discrimination. It ensures government’s responsibility for provision of free quality maternal health services through community based monitoring and influencing the policy level issues through advocacy.
Background: In 2010, the death of 26 women during childbirth in Badwani District Hospital in Madhya Pradesh brought to national consciousness the weak state of maternal health services, unequal distribution of health services, reported high maternal deaths from child birth related complexities and a lack of political will in promoting community centric accountability processes. Various civil society organizations (CSOs) working at the grass-roots level came together to address the issue of Maternal Health as a Human Right which led to the formation of MHRC in 2013.
Project Partners: MHRC has more than 50 civil society organizations as its member across the state of Madhya Pradesh.
Project Area: 16 districts of the state of Madhya Pradesh spread across 3 regions namely
P R O J E C T I M P A C T
- MHRC has gained recognition in the state as a network working dedicatedly on the issue of maternal health and health rights.
- Increased awareness in the communities on maternal health and health rights issues as a result of continuous dialogue.
- Capacity building and handholding of partner organisations has helped to carry out 3 rounds of community based monitoring across 14 districts of MP covering more than 60 villages and 34 PHCs. A total of 150 cases of violations/ denials have been documented.
- Active participation of the community in the block, district and state level public health dialogues organised to raise critical related to the availability and quality of healthcare services at the grassroots.
- Local leadership has been strengthened with the nurturing of regional and district resource groups of the network partners.
- Communication with the grassroots practitioners has been strengthened through the blog updates and quarterly newsletter.
- Collaboration with state as well as national networks such as Jan Swasthya Abhiyan (JSA), National Alliance for Maternal Health and Human Rights (NAMHHR), Common Health etc has been strengthened.
Community Enquiry on Maternal Health
MHRC has carried out three rounds of community enquiry in 2012-2013, 2014 and 2016 respectively where the partner organisations had actively participated in the process. The community enquiries focused on understanding the status of healthcare at the grassroots level while also tracking the positive as well as negative changes that may have taken place between the various phases of enquiry.
A Maternal Health status report was also compiled for the state of Madhya Pradesh which highlights the performance of the state on various health indicators. The report was released in April 2016.
Public Health Dialogue with Health System
Based on the findings from the various rounds of community based monitoring, MHRC and its partners have organised various district and state level public dialogues wherein the community representatives have got an opportunity to interact with their health functionaries and highlight the gaps in the functioning of the healthcare system. Memorandums have been submitted to the officials stating asking for immediate redressal of the problems after each dialogue.
Capacity building for the grassroots partners is absolutely necessary for them to develop in-depth understanding on issues related to maternal health care, rights and advocacy. In addition, skills of data collection and documentation through various means needs to be developed so that the partners are in a position to collect evidence from the field for advocacy.