Mother-Child Helpline

CALL : 74129 00045 for free!
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Mother-Child Helpline

CALL : 74129 00045 for free!
Mother-Child Helpline
The Need

Severely curtailed health services have disconnected individuals and families from healthcare, support systems and information. COVID-19 fear and stigma, outreach service retractions and a shortage of non-COVID medication have reduced care-seeking. Millions of families are unable to ask critical questions and receive routine preventive care over the course of pregnancy, labour, postpartum, infancy and beyond. Comorbidities (e.g., diabetes, hypertension, mental health) , undernutrition, low birth weight, breastfeeding problems and missed vaccination are examples of conditions that amplify missteps and can quickly intensify. India risks losing hard-fought progress in maternal, newborn and infant health for over 25 million annual births. Community-based strategies could prevent neonatal deaths by one third and prevent maternal harm, and are urgently needed.

The BBN Solution

BBN’s innovative free Mother-Child COVID-19 Helpline provides guidance on pregnancy, birth, postpartum and newborn/infant health in the context of COVID-19 to anyone seeking help in India and even outside the country without costing the callers anything.

We give practical advice about safely seeking care during the pandemic, safety precautions for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers and newborns and on-the-ground assistance with testing locations and protocols. We help callers find MCH (maternal child health) facilities, providers and services that meet their needs. We emphasize reproductive rights even-and especially-during the lockdown. We help women navigate pandemic-related reproductive rights abuses such as refusal of care in labour when the woman lacks COVID-test results; the separation of mother and baby after birth due to lack of COVID-test results; and caesarean section with no medical indications.

Impact/Coverage

During the first six months of the pandemic, calls to our Helpline increased by 80%. Our callers are from all parts of India as well as Pakistan, Kuwait and Dubai. We have provided guidance and support in finding a doctor/hospital when most were refusing new or COVID-positive patients, COVID-care measures if positive, precautionary measures during consultations, protocols for birth during COVID and more.

Our Response Rate

In 2020, our ability to address callers’ needs was close to 100%.

The Need

Severely curtailed health services have disconnected individuals and families from healthcare, support systems and information. COVID-19 fear and stigma, outreach service retractions and a shortage of non-COVID medication have reduced care-seeking. Millions of families are unable to ask critical questions and receive routine preventive care over the course of pregnancy, labour, postpartum, infancy and beyond. Comorbidities (e.g., diabetes, hypertension, mental health) , undernutrition, low birth weight, breastfeeding problems and missed vaccination are examples of conditions that amplify missteps and can quickly intensify. India risks losing hard-fought progress in maternal, newborn and infant health for over 25 million annual births. Community-based strategies could prevent neonatal deaths by one third and prevent maternal harm, and are urgently needed.

The BBN Solution

BBN’s innovative free Mother-Child COVID-19 Helpline provides guidance on pregnancy, birth, postpartum and newborn/infant health in the context of COVID-19 to anyone seeking help in India and even outside the country without costing the callers anything.

We give practical advice about safely seeking care during the pandemic, safety precautions for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers and newborns and on-the-ground assistance with testing locations and protocols. We help callers find MCH (maternal child health) facilities, providers and services that meet their needs. We emphasize reproductive rights even and especially during the lockdown. We help women navigate pandemic-related reproductive rights abuses such as refusal of care in labour when the woman lacks COVID-test results; the separation of mother and baby after birth due to lack of COVID-test results; and caesarean section with no medical indications.

Impact/Coverage

During the first six months of the pandemic, calls to our Helpline increased by 80%. Our callers are from all parts of India as well as Pakistan, Kuwait and Dubai. We have provided guidance and support in finding a doctor/hospital when most were refusing new or COVID-positive patients, COVID-care measures if positive, precautionary measures during consultations, protocols for birth during COVID and more.

Our Response Rate

In 2020, our ability to address callers’ needs was close to 100%.

Mother-Child Helpline
Highlights of the BBN Helpline

No Cost

This innovative approach works effectively without any cost to the caller. Being a Missed Call Service, the call gets disconnected after one ring, and the caller’s number gets stored in a database. The call is not actually completed and connected at the time the call is placed and therefore does not carry a cost.

Timely Support

A counsellor on the helpline returns the missed call in less than 12 hours to speak with the caller directly. Average response time is 2 hours.

Qualified Counsellors

Our Counsellors are paramedical professionals and peer counsellors who are trained in the WHO and India’s national guidelines on COVID-19 for pregnant, birthing, postpartum and breastfeeding women. Senior Counsellors review all cases and extend additional support in high-need cases.

Global Reach

Our counsellors speak eight different Indian languages as well as English. Callers from Kerala and Tamil Nadu in the south to Kashmir in the north and from other countries like Pakistan, Kuwait and Dubai have accessed the service. Much of the information we provide is also applicable to other countries.