Christian Hospital Mungeli

Newsletter #2:                                                        December 2, 2014
Giving Tuesday is December 2nd, and CHM has a big surprise!

In a few short weeks, Christian Hospital Mungeli (CHM) will begin a new project that we hope will radically impact the lives of mothers and babies in our community. We are excited to make our announcement on Giving Tuesday as we begin giving baby boxes to mothers who choose to receive prenatal care for their babies.
Here’s the challenge
The vast majority of mothers who come to CHM have:
  • Received no prenatal care resulting in anemia, high blood pressure/eclampsia & low birth weight babies;  
  • Already have labored at home for hours (many come with a ruptured uterus);
  • May have received care from both the village quack and/or the government hospital in Mungeli which does not perform caesarean sections.
When they finally make the decision to come to our hospital, it may already be too  late for both mother and child.
In Chhattisgarh for every 1,000 babies born, 55 will die before their first birthday. In the US, that number is just 6. 

We had an idea
.  Actually we're borrowing the idea from the Finns and making it our own, Indian style.  The Finns give a baby box to every pregnant woman who received prenatal care prior to her fourth month of pregnancy.  Back in 1938, Finland was a poor country with high infant mortality, much like India today.  The Finns realised that if more women received prenatal care and delivered their babies in a hospital, the mortality rate would decrease—and it did, dramatically.  So, every woman who had a prenatal visit by her fourth month of pregnancy would receive a baby box. Read more about the Finnish system here

We believe that the 'baby box' would be an excellent incentive for mothers to complete prenatal visits and choose delivery at Christian Hospital Mungeli as the healthiest option for both baby and mom.
What’s in our box?  Our baby boxes will contain many essential items that the average rural Chhattisgarhi family cannot afford, like diapers, blankets, baby outfits, soap and oil. All items will be locally sourced except for the soap. As a community initiative, the blankets and sheets will be sewn by the students in our community college as their first project. 
Unlike the Finnish box which is constructed of recyclable cardboard, our box will be made of sturdy plastic so that it will survive the monsoons and also be reused and recycled.
How much will a box cost?   We estimate the cost of the boxes to be $25 each which includes both the box contents and the indirect costs involved with our proposed education program for moms, dads, and the omnipresent Indian month-in-law.  We will use SMS texting to remind the family of prenatal appointments and post delivery checkups and important vaccinations for the newborn as well.  The hospital wil track the moms and babies so we can evaluate the project.

Giving Tuesday is December 2nd and CHM couldn’t wait to share our big news.  We’re giving baby boxes to expectant moms to encourage prenatal visits, but we’re also giving more babies a chance at a healthy start to their lives.  It’s Giving Tuesday, and we couldn’t be happier to be giving!
Learn more about our Baby Box Program!
Please Donate!
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