The Mother and Child Project offers free prenatal and postnatal care to women, along with immunization and medical care for infants and very young children, in the villages of Sathya Sai mandal. Once a month, teams consisting of doctors, medical technicians and sevadals, from all over Andrah Pradesh trek down the narrow bumpy roads to remote villages, along with a fully equipped "Mother and Child" ambulance provided by Bhagavan. Women receive on-going medical and nutritional support, as well as training in childcare, personal hygiene and spirituality. This loving care extends to the village headmen, local schoolteachers and elders, who are involved in activities to ensure that women have community support.
The project is also committed to improving knowledge and training for local birth attendants, educating them to provide better care for mothers before, during and after delivery. "Human birth is a gift from God," says Swami. "It is only by the strength of a mother's will that a child will come up in life. Hence she must be given pride of place. She must be respected and cared for."
Post natal visits train mothers in better infant care and include preventive healthcare education, immunizations and on-going nutritional counseling. "It is highly important to take care of the health of children," says Bhagavan. "Health is the foundation upon which human life rests."
A healthy mother = a healthy baby = a healthy nation.