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Passport to Life : Weak Newborn Care Made Easy Through Tracking Mechanism

Passport to Life : Weak Newborn Care Made Easy Through Tracking Mechanism

State and Development Partner

Bihar 

CARE India

Problem

Weak Newborn Babies (WNBs) include those born preterm, those whose birth weight is at or below 2 kilograms, and those who do not feed strongly from Day 1. The chance of neonatal mortality is highest among WNBs. Healthcare systems are not able to track WNBs after they are discharged from the hospitals, and parents do not have enough knowledge on how to care for a WNB. This is often dangerous for the baby and extremely difficult for the parents.

Conventional Solution

ASHA workers are usually responsible to track and monitor WNB in their villages. They provide parents with information on how to care for the weak newborn who needs extra attention in the first month. However, FLWs are not always present with the parents who struggle and often get overwhelmed by the needs of their weak newborn.

Behavioural Insights Based Solution

All WNBs are identified across Government facilities in Bihar and even though parents are counselled on kangaroo mother care, skin to skin care, frequent exclusive breastfeeding, parents need an aid to remember these critical instructions. By making this information handy and timely with reminders, this intervention reduces the cognitive overload and information clutter enhancing action by parents caring for their weak newborn baby. WNB Passports are not just used for tracking but also have these crucial informations on WNB care on one side of the card and the identification number for the newborn on the other. Regular calls are made to families to inform parents about how to care for WNB and how to identify sipns of sickness. The calls also advice parents to return to the health facility if they notice any danger signs. This constant and timely support through the first month of the WNB's life ensures parents have the requisite information and counselling to care for the WNB at every step. This simple behavioural intervention lowers the burden on the family as it acts as a guide at a testing time for both the parents and the baby.

Impact

The introduction of WNB passports has resulted in 25% neonatal mortality rates reduction among children born in public health facilities in Bihar, between 2016-2018 according to the Concurrent Measurement and Learning unit of Bihar TSU programme.

"My delivery was at Chandi Referral Hospital on 8th March 2020. The ANM told me post delivery that my child weights only 1900 grams which is underweight. Then she told me about ways to care for the baby such as kangaroo mothercare, minimal handling and not making the child have a bath for the next 7 days. I followed all of the suggestions and now my child weights 2500 grams and is healthy." - Babita Devi, Chainpur, Bihar. Her child was identified as a weak newborn.

Source : Stories of Change from India's Aspirational districts - NITI Aayog publication

Last Modified : 5/10/2022



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