Sure Start was a seven-year project to improve the lives of women and newborns by introducing essential maternal and newborn health interventions in 7 districts Uttar Pradesh covering a population of 23 million. Through its unique interventions, Sure Start’s objective was to significantly increase individual, household, and community actions that directly and indirectly improve health. Sure Start also aimed to enhance systems and institutional capabilities for sustained improvement in maternal and newborn care and health status.
- Blog: Lessons from large-scale programmes: the Sure Start experience in Uttar Pradesh
- Journal article: Evaluating a large-scale community-based intervention to improve pregnancy and newborn health among the rural poor in India
About Sure Start innovations
Sure Start built up the capacity of community based institutions within its 7 districts, or intervention areas. Some of the many innovations implemented in Uttar Pradesh by Sure Start included:
- Engaging fathers in the effort through a letter written to the father to be from his unborn child. The unborn child’s voice addresses the father to be, helping them to better understand their pivotal roles in the well-being of their wife and children.
- Developing and distributing low-cost interactive tools to communicate with families. Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) used the tools during home visits and mothers’ group meetings. The Sure Start team has created 16 tools that contains games, puzzles with key messages to dispel myths and promote healthy behaviours.
- Undertaking a mid-media campaign – ‘Pehla ek Ghanta’ (the first one hour) where information related to maternal and newborn health is disseminated creatively through the use of games, street plays, flip books, film screenings and jingles. The activities were intermingled with core behavioral changes messages on birth preparedness, danger sign recognition, cord care, thermal care of the newborn, and immediate and exclusive breast feeding. Huge billboards and rickshaws with messages about the critical importance of the first one hour after delivery.