In India, more than 60% of the healthcare infrastructure is private. Half of all births in urban areas and a quarter of all births in rural areas take place in private facilities. With the right support, private hospitals and clinics can play a critical role in delivering essential maternal, infant and young child nutrition (MIYCN) services through their standard care for women and children.
In 2019, Alive & Thrive (A&T) partnered with leading medical professionals and medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar to develop an integrated package of MIYCN protocols that were based on global and national standards. These protocols included services such as counselling on diet and micronutrient supplements, gestational weight tracking during antenatal care, initiating breastfeeding within an hour of birth, and counselling on exclusive breastfeeding and complementary feeding. After successfully supporting several teaching hospitals to adopt the new protocols, A&T expanded its efforts to private hospitals in the region.
These case studies from Tripolia Social Service Hospital and Kurji Holy Family Hospital demonstrate the application of Point of Care Quality Improvement (POCQI) to improve early initiation of breastfeeding. They serve as an example for other private hospitals hoping to facilitate similar changes to longstanding procedures.
By involving and empowering frontline health workers to apply the latest scientific evidence, we can collectively improve MIYCN service delivery and have a lasting impact on the health and wellbeing of women and children.