Uttar Pradesh has invested considerable efforts and resources to improve the health status of its people. In order to accelerate, the state is focusing its efforts to mobilize the underserved population. Uttar Pradesh State Rural livelihood mission-UNICEF partnership is a step in that direction. The partnership plans to utilize WADA Sakhi, a member of self-help group (SHG), to mobilize its women members and families, and promote behaviors and change norms related to maternal and child nutrition and health.
The first important step to bring about change is to understand the current situation. For this purpose, UNICEF sponsored a baseline Knowledge Attitude and Practice study aimed to determine the level of knowledge and practice of SHGs on health behaviors related to maternal and child nutrition (early initiation, exclusive and complementary feeding), routine immunization, hand wash with soap, and toilet construction and use.
The overall purpose of the study was to develop a broad level communication framework and district-specific communication plans for six districts (Mirzapur, Banda, Bahraich, Ambedkar Nagar, Chandauli and Sonbhadra). Additionally, the study provided data that would enable UPSRLM-UNICEF to mobilize SHGs to promote healthy behaviors relating to maternal health, breastfeeding, complementary feeding, routine immunization, handwashing with soap, and ending child marriage.