The Network for Improving Quality of Care for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health hosted a webinar on 24 September on ‘Family participatory care in India: partnering with families to care for small and sick newborns’.
Prof. Arti Maria, Head of Neonatology at Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, New Delhi, India, has pioneered this approach in which the parents and close relatives of small and sick newborns are trained in simple care practices and become full partners in care. She explained how the idea started, how changing the attitudes of healthcare workers, who can be weary of sharing some of their power, was the main obstacle to the approach being adopted, and how involving fathers in the care of their newborn proved to be critical.
Dr Harish Kumar, Senior Programme Director at Jhpiego India, presented the scale up model for the family-participatory care approach and how it works both at facility and community levels to change attitudes of health workers, teach parents care practices for their sick and small newborns, and try to ensure a continuum of care once the baby is discharged. He talked about the work in the facilities to implement family-centred care, and how state and national governments were involved at every step.
Dr P.K Prabhakar, Deputy Commissioner for Child Health at the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India explained how the family-participatory care approach evolved from an innovation in one tertiary facility to a nation-wide initiative that is about to be implemented in over 800 SNCUs across India.