Braving the odds

WaterAid/Ronny Sen

Every year in India, 1.05 million infants die, making the country account for more than 26 per cent of the world’s neonatal mortality rates. Within this, more than 56 per cent of deaths happen in the first 28 days of life, and nearly three-fourths in the first week of life. The statistics do not end here. For every 100,000 live births, 174 new mothers die during or soon after giving birth.  According to a 2015 report by WHO and UNICEF, the presence of water, sanitation, hygiene (WASH) in healthcare facilities and the simple practice of hand hygiene by birth attendants can reduce maternal and neonatal mortality drastically from preventable infections such as sepsis. The brunt of these deaths is borne by mothers and infants from the poorest and most economically marginalised backgrounds.

WaterAid India, in association with its on ground partners conducted preliminary assessments on the status of WASH in 343 primary, community and district level healthcare facilities across 12 districts in 6 states across India. Here is a look at the WASH challenges, pregnant women, newborns and even healthcare staff may face in a rural setting for a Healthy Start.

Photos: WaterAid/Ronny Sen



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