an Indian mother and baby

The fight to improve maternal health in India and the vital role of NGOs

MATERNAL health is an integral component of public health in India, reflecting the well-being of mothers and the broader state of healthcare within the country. In a nation as diverse and dynamic as India, addressing the challenges associated with maternal health is an ongoing journey. The commendable efforts of various non-governmental organisations (NGOs), such as the Society for Nutrition, Education and Health Action (SNEHA), Swadhar, Sukarya, and the Ekum Foundation, have played a significant role in enhancing maternal health and reducing infant mortality in the nation. These organisations, along with many others, have been pivotal in improving the maternal health landscape in India.

Maternal health in India: a complex issue

Maternal health in India presents a multifaceted challenge, encompassing several issues, including

Elevated Maternal Mortality: India continues to grapple with one of the world’s highest maternal mortality rates. Many women, particularly those residing in rural and underserved areas, do not receive adequate prenatal care or childbirth assistance.

Malnutrition: Inadequate maternal nutrition not only affects the health of expectant mothers but also impacts the growth and development of their children. Malnutrition remains a pervasive issue in India, especially among marginalised communities.

Limited Access to Healthcare: Access to quality healthcare varies significantly across India. Many women, particularly in rural areas, face difficulties in reaching healthcare facilities, leading to complications during pregnancy and childbirth.

NGOs making strides in maternal health in India

To address these challenges and enhance maternal health, numerous NGOs across India are actively involved in various initiatives:

Society for Nutrition, Education and Health Action (SNEHA): SNEHA has been a frontrunner in maternal health and child development programmes. They operate in urban slums, offering prenatal and postnatal care and implementing community-based interventions to enhance maternal and child health. Their efforts are particularly vital in densely populated cities where marginalised communities often lack access to healthcare.

Swadhar IDWC: Swadhar is another prominent NGO dedicated to improving maternal health. They operate mobile health clinics in remote and underserved regions, providing medical services, prenatal care, and health education. These initiatives help bring quality healthcare closer to those who need it the most.

Sukarya: Sukarya concentrates on maternal and child health, among other initiatives. They operate in rural areas, addressing issues such as malnutrition, poor maternal health, and limited access to healthcare facilities. Their efforts have made a substantial impact in many remote villages.

Ekum Foundation: Ekum Foundation is committed to providing maternal health support to vulnerable communities, including tribal regions. Their programmes encompass healthcare services, nutritional support, and awareness campaigns, with the aim of enhancing the overall well-being of mothers and their children.

The collective impact

These NGOs are making a significant difference by reaching out to communities often left behind. Their combined efforts, supported by donors, volunteers, and government agencies, have the potential to transform the maternal health landscape in India.

Maternal health is not merely a healthcare issue; it is a societal imperative. Improving maternal health in India is crucial for the well-being of mothers, children, and the nation as a whole. NGOs such as SNEHA, Swadhar, Sukarya, and Ekum Foundation are leading the way in this noble endeavour, and their work is instrumental in addressing the multifaceted challenges of maternal health.

In the pursuit of improved maternal health in India, every contribution holds significance. Whether through financial support, volunteering, or raising awareness, every action in support of these organisations brings us closer to a future where motherhood is genuinely nurtured, and every mother can experience a safe and healthy journey into motherhood.


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