The Save A Mother Foundation (SAM), launched in 2008, has made
significantimpact on health seeking behaviourin four districts of three states in India. From its initial focus on maternal mortality reduction with behaviouralchange, SAM has included infant and child mortality reduction, population stabilisationand tuberculosis control in its services.
SAM has developed an ‘Effective Social Persuasion” (ESP) Program for social behaviour change. The program includes social health behaviour change through intensive community mobilization, capacity building, training of village volunteers, community meetings, house calls and training of community leaders to become self-sufficient.
SAM has replicated its earlier success of Amethi in other districts: Gadag in Karnataka, Nizamabad in Telangana and Jaunpur district in UP. Recently SAM started a new program to reduce mortality among children under 5 years in urban slums of Varanasi city.
SAM has been able to achieve 90% reduction in maternal mortality and 67% reduction in infant mortality in all its districts at an annual cost of 15 Rupees per capita population. The NGO, run by a professional staff, is data driven. It has a transparent accounting system and a demonstrable record of achievement of goals. SAM employs approximately 80 people and also works a field force of over 27,000 volunteers. SAM works in close cooperation with government public health programs.
SAM gets financial support from different donors:
- Population stabilization program in Amethi district with financial support of Population Foundation of India, New Delhi.
- Maternal Child Health program in Gadag with financial support of Deshpande Foundation.
- Maternal health program in Jaunpur district with financial support of EK Soch Sandbox.
- Maternal Child Health program in Nizamabad with the support of SAM Foundation USA.
- Reduction of under 5 years child mortality in urban slums of Varanasi city with SAM USA.
SAM believes social behaviour change is the least expensive method of reducing disease burden in a community. SAM has worked in 1500 villages since 2008, with an effort to develop healthcare solution for the poor – solutions which are simple, sustainable and scalable.
By Gulab Nath Yadav, Manager Projects, SAM