We Care

27 April 2020

Like the vast majority of countries across the world, India too is battling the COVID-19 pandemic, and is currently under lockdown.

The Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) in the state of Bihar, has joined hands with UNFPA India to help those most affected by the pandemic – including pregnant women and the elderly. Through the WeCare initiative, services such as free travel assistance – including to and from health care facilities - are being provided to these vulnerable groups living in slum communities across Patna, the capital city of Bihar.

When Asha gave birth to a baby girl, she and her husband Amit were delighted about becoming new parents. They were also terrified because of the current COVID-19 lockdown situation. After Asha delivered at a hospital, they had no idea how they would go back home.

That’s when Amit, a sanitation worker, remembered he’d heard about the WeCare service. He immediately called the helpline to ask if someone could help him to take his wife and newborn daughter home. WeCare reached the hospital at 5:15 pm. By 5:45 pm, just a half-hour later, all three were safely home.

Asha who has a tattoo with ‘Maa’ (mother in Hindi) on her hand, took her first steps towards motherhood with WeCare.

April 22 marked a week since Pooja had delivered her baby. Her parents frantically went back and forth from the hospital, wondering how they could take their daughter and grandchild back home. The pandemic lockdown in Bihar state meant there was no transport.

Pooja’s uncle met a community trainer who gave the family the WeCare helpline number. A car reached the hospital within 30 minutes, and Pooja was soon home with her baby.  The young mother was grateful for the driver who drove them safely, and the counsellors who were there by her side. The last few days hadn’t been easy but the smile on her face, holding her child, was proof of her fighting spirit.

On 24 April, the WeCare helpline received a panic-stricken call from Shiv Devi’s family. The 19-year-old had gone into labour and needed to be hospitalised immediately. A car reached within ten minutes, and Shiv Devi was in the hospital shortly after, where she had a C-section. But the help and support provided by WeCare didn’t end just there.  Following the birth, a counsellor is checking up regularly on Shiv Devi to help her with her baby

Twenty-two-year-old Khushbu Devi was in the ninth month of pregnancy when her labour pains started. At 6 am on 24 April, her husband  Guddu called the WeCare helpline. He needed help to rush his wife to the hospital. Within the hour, Khushbu was safely at the hospital where she was immediately admitted. At 8:55 AM she gave birth to a baby boy who weighed 2.5 kgs.

A WeCare trainer visited Khushbu at the hospital the very same afternoon to ensure that mother and baby were in good health. By 1 pm a car had arrived to take them back home. The WeCare team has been consistently following up with the family to ensure the baby gets all his vaccines and other necessary care.

Eighteen-year-old Kanchan Devi, a resident of Gandhi Maidan, Patna, delivered her first baby at 10 AM on 23 April at Patna Medical College Hospital. However, on discovering that the child had not been immunised, Kanchan was immediately linked to WeCare. Her husband called the helpline number around 9:35 AM and within five minutes a car had arrived to take mother and child to the hospital for the baby’s shots. Once the immunisation was completed, the baby and mother were dropped back home.

Twenty-four-year-old Puja Kumari from Patna was in her ninth month of pregnancy, anxiously awaiting her due date. On 23 April, when her labour pains began, her father called the WeCare helpline number at around 8:45 AM asking them to help take Puja to the hospital. Within ten minutes, the WeCare vehicle arrived and she was transported to the nearest health centre. However, due to the unavailability of saline water, she needed to be taken to another hospital for delivery. Her father made a second call to the helpline number at around 11:30 AM and Puja was promptly taken to Nalanda Maternity Center, Patna city, where just hours later she delivered a healthy baby girl at 1:32 PM.


Pictures Credit: Diksha Foundation, Patna, Bihar