Project

India Casts a Light on Mothers Long in the Dark

Despite rapid economic growth, India remains a land of great disparity. The status of the country's maternal health, which is affected by region, income, education, caste and religion, reflects the nation's socio-economic diversity.

This project assesses India's efforts to improve its maternal health and explore why Assam, a northeastern state known for its beauty yet plagued by high levels of poverty, has the nation's highest maternal mortality rate. Reporter Hanna Ingber Win travels with boat clinics along the Brahmaputra River to visit remote villages that do not have electricity, toilets or roads, let alone health services.

In Muslim island villages, families marry off their daughters as young as 12 years old, taking them out of school, isolating them from their support services and increasing the likelihood of domestic violence and high fertility rates. Girls under the age of 15 are five times more likely to die in childbirth than those in their 20s. In tribal villages on the other end of the river, impoverished families have been displaced from their homes by land erosion time and again.

These geographically and socially isolated island families depend on boats to access services. If the water levels are too high or low, if night falls or if a boat needs repair, no pregnancy or postpartum emergency can overcome the dictates of the river. The mothers must wait. But not all have the luxury of time.

August 04, 2010|

How Boat Clinics are Transforming Rural India

Boat clinics in India provide family planning services, immunizations, antenatal care to pregnant women and basic healthcare to socially and geographically isolated villages along the Brahmaptra River. But there are still hurdles to overcome.

A fisherman stands knee-deep in the river as a boat pulls up to the bank in the northeastern Indian village of Tengatoli. A crew made up of doctors, nurses, and one pharmacist grab bags of medical supplies and lug a large generator toward the bamboo homes in the distance.

July 20, 2010|

Boat Clinics on the Brahmaputra

The mighty Brahmaputra River separates thousands from adequate healthcare facilities in Assam, India. Boat Clinics run by the Center for Northeast Studies and Policy Research navigate through the shallow waters to reach the inhabitants of the river's islands.

This segment was produced by Outer Voices. Support for Hanna Wingber Win's reporting was provided by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. This Outer Voices podcast series was made possible with the support of the Schulz Donor Advised Fund of Sonoma County.

July 20, 2010|

Maternal Mortality in Assam's Tea Gardens

Assam has the highest maternal mortality rates in India. Although the Indian government has increased it efforts to decrease maternal deaths, thousands of children still lose their mothers in childbirth.

This segment was produced by Outer Voices. Support for Hanna Ingber Win's reporting was provided by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. This Outer Voices podcast series was made possible with the support of the Schulz Donor Advised Fund of Sonoma County.

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