Acumen Blog

4-

Quality Care and Trust when Providing Maternal Healthcare

Baheirah is an Acumen Global Fellow working in Hyderabad, India at LifeSpring, a chain of hospitals that provides quality health care to lowerincome women and children in India. Below she discusses why quality care and trust are so important when providing maternal healthcare. 

Latha, 28, sits quietly in LifeSpring’s waiting room, her fuchsia and gold Punjabi dress blends in beautifully with the clinic’s cheerful pink walls. I ask if she has any worries about her upcoming delivery, as her first delivery led to complications. She calmly answers, “I have no fear!” There is a sparkle in her eyes as she shares her thrill for her second baby. As she talks, all I can hear is her strength and confidence in her delivery choice and this makes me admire Latha profoundly.

Latha and her husband attend a prenatal checkup

Latha and her husband attend a prenatal checkup

Most local women do not have the privilege of choosing their delivery facility; the primary decision makers for the first and second delivery are the mother and mother-in-law, respectively. Latha’s first caesarean delivery was at LifeSpring. While the delivery was successful, she incurred a very rare wound infection after the operation caused by her weakened immune system. Often, such complications are mistakenly blamed on the skill of the “doctor’s hand.”

3-lifeSpringPic_newbornbaby_after3abortions_momPARAMJYOTI1

Latha’s face flushes in pain whenever she recalls the excruciating memory of changing the daily dressing on her infected wound. The infection was not only physically agonizing but it also affected her family and daily activities. Her husband, who supports the family working as a chauffeur, had to interrupt his work on a daily basis to take his wife for check-ups. Throughout Latha’s recovery, Dr. Radhika, a skilled doctor who has been with LifeSpring for five years, closely monitored Latha’s infection, prioritized her visits, and ensured that all of her follow up check-ups were free of charge. Dr. Radhika was fully committed to Latha’s recovery, a process that took nearly three months.

5

Now, Latha is five months pregnant and she has decided to come back to LifeSpring for her prenatal care visits; in spite of the customs that would prevent her from trusting the same “doctor’s hand.” Latha says that she considered going to a cheaper private hospital close to her mother-in-law, but ultimately the quality of care and service she received made her choose LifeSpring, and specifically Dr. Radhika, for the delivery of her second child.

4-

Baheirah holds Latha’s baby

Latha’s story highlights how providing quality service and forming trusting relationships empowers low-income women to overcome their fear and cultural pressure. This is especially important when alternate facilities do not meet their basic needs. Latha is expected to deliver in four months and I am thrilled that I will be here for her second delivery!

Comments

We Are Each Other’s Destiny

To reflect on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is to consider deeply our human interconnectedness and the world we want to build. Each year on this day, I re-read his extraordinary, elegiac “Letter from Birmingham Jail” to remember his commitment to human equality and the price he paid. I read it to remind myself of the power of idealism grounded in pragmatism. I read it to renew my belief in our individual and collective abilities to help bend the moral arc ever more toward justice. [Read More]

Let’s Work Together

Acumen has offices in New York, Mumbai, Karachi, Bogota, Nairobi and Accra. Last August, Avinash Mishra, a Senior Portfolio Associate in the India office, and Keya Madhvani, the Internal Communications Associate in the New York office, were nominated to attend the One Young World Summit in Dublin. Below, they share lessons learned at the summit.  [Read More]

Edubridge: Bridging the Skills Gap in Rural India

India’s demographic dividend is widely acknowledged as a strength that sets it apart from other emerging economies. One million young men and women enter the workforce every month, which will add up to an astounding 240 million over the next twenty years.  Rural youth make up two thirds of India’s population and are a major segment of these job seekers. At the same time, fast growing companies in retail, IT, BPO, banking and financial services struggle with finding employable staff, especially in rural areas.  Research shows that only 5-40% of the staff in such companies has undergone formal training. [Read More]

New Study By Acumen and Bain & Company Unveils How To Scale Adoption Of Agricultural Innovations

Acumen and Bain & Company today released Growing Prosperity: Developing Repeatable Models® to Scale the Adoption of Agricultural Innovations—a new report to help entrepreneurial companies, and others, unlock the potential of smallholder farmers through large-scale adoption of agricultural innovations and inputs. The report’s insights and findings—which are the result of interviews with more than 300 smallholder farmers, sector experts and pioneer firm management—demonstrate the transformative power of providing smallholder farmers with the right access to the right innovations at the right time. In parallel, the report addresses why very few pioneer firms have been able to achieve the scale needed to provide smallholder farmers with access to agricultural products and services that have the potential to increase their yields and pull them out of poverty. [Read More]

Why India’s Economic Growth Depends on Vocational Training

India has an enormous population of young people – over half of the 1.2 billion people are younger than 25 years old. Yet, only 2% of its 500 million person workforce has any skills or training. The majority work in the informal sector (90%), where there are few opportunities for education other than what workers ‘pick up’ on the job. This reality limits overall productivity, as well as upward mobility. [Read More]