Seth Davis, Programme Advisor, Community Systems Foundation
Since 2017, Community Systems Foundation’s (CSF)’s technical partner Avalon Information Systems has been supporting Project ASMAN - Alliance for Saving Mothers and Newborns.
ASMAN is a partnership between the Reliance Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, MSD for Mothers, Tata Trusts and USAID, and aims to facilitate the availability of quality healthcare under the five pillars of the Government of India’s Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health Programme (RMNCH+A).
Avalon Informations Systems has supported the initiative through development and maintenance of the ASMAN application. The tool facilitates data collection that supports health analytics at the worker, facility and regional level.
In the last decade, India has made great strides in improving maternal health. The maternal mortality ratio (MMR) has been reduced to 130 per 100,000 live births in 2014-16 (1), but this needs to come down even further, to 70 by 2030, in line with the global Sustainable Development Goals (2). Likewise, while there has been a rapid decline in under-5 deaths (3), India still loses about 2040 new-borns every single day (4). India needs to reduce its neonatal mortality rate to 12 or less by 2030, in keeping with the Sustainable Development Goals (5).
It is but obvious that this task, of reducing maternal and newborn deaths, needs to be taken on a war footing. Given the wide variation amongst the states, ASMAN has been rolled out as a proof-of-concept, in 81 select healthcare facilities in the two high-need states of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, where maternal and neonatal mortality rates are amongst the highest.
The ASMAN Programme
Empowering nurses and healthcare providers to use best practices and deliver quality care during delivery and for the first 48 hours after birth, is critical, to ensure the survival of mothers and newborns. The ASMAN programme delivers this through in-facility and on-ground support; provision for continual learning; and remote support centres.
Present across 81 healthcare facilities in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, the ASMAN digital platform is a tablet based intrapartum and immediate postpartum decision support tool for healthcare providers:
- Nurses use the platform to enter real time data on digitised maternity case sheets. These case sheets include digitised Safe Childbirth Checklist along with provision for digital vital recording.
- The e-partograph helps monitor labour progress.
- Alerts and notifications inform staff about high-risk cases so they can receive timely support.
- A Live dashboard helps health workers and managers monitor all cases in real-time; identify and manage high-risk cases; refer cases to higher centres; and make urgent decisions if necessary.
Early trends are showing improvement in facility case management and appropriate referrals.
To stay updated on Project ASMAN and subscribe to their newsletter, please visit http://www.asmanalliance.in/.
(2) World Health Organization. SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages. [online] Available at: https://www.who.int/sdg/targets/en/
(3) UNICEF. Neonatal Health | UNICEF. [online] Available at: http://unicef.in/whatwedo/2/neonatal-health
(4) Vikaspedia. India Newborn Action Plan — Vikaspedia. [online] Available at: http://vikaspedia.in/health/nrhm/national-health-mission/india-newborn-action-plan
(5) Sustainable Development UN. Goal 3: Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform. [online] Available at: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdg3
(6) ASMAN IMPACT. ASMAN Alliance. Available at: https://www.asmanalliance.in/