Project Team:Dr.Manoj Kumar Gupta, Dr.Fehmida Visnegarwala, Dr. Dhirendra Kumar, Dr.Reshmi R S, Dr. Sarala Raju, Dr. Veena R, Mr Angan Sengupta, Dr.Yashodha T.C., Dr V. Srinath
This is an ICMR funded Multi-center Action Research Demonstration Studyâ€. The purpose of this project, is to sensitize, mobilize and engage women through the Self Help Groups, to take charge of their reproductive health, including cervical cancer, and act as change agents for other women in the community. Thus, there is a dual commitment to study a system and concurrently to collaborate with members of the system in changing it in what is together regarded as a desirable direction. To improve reproductive health outcomes among women, there is need to evaluate psychosocial dynamics of community-based programs. Evidence shows that financial autonomy can confer health empowerment. Thus using current model of SHGs we will build capacity, increase awareness and health felt need to access reproductive health including menstrual hygiene; syndromic recognition of RTI/STIs; peripartum infections, cervical cancer among rural women. We are conducting a multi-center (3 sites Karnataka, 1 in Rajasthan & Chattisgarh) action research demonstration project, to sensitize, mobilize and engage SHG women using 3-day sensitization workshops followed by 2 refresher trainings at 4-6 month intervals. Using mixed methods, we will measure change from baseline, in direct/indirect impact measures, including rates of RCH specific awareness/attitudes, practices and socio-cultural dynamics of the uptake or not thereof of the above intervention. This model may lend itself to evaluation for national level scalability, due to its implications to increase community based health felt need and increase in the functioning of ASHAs, and thus complement the current structure of NRHM.