Taruni project has been initiated to help the younger and poorer women to facilitate the exercise of reproductive choice in the Udaipur region of Rajasthan by promoting greater adoption of reversible contraceptive methods, antenatal care, safe and legal abortion and rational treatment of infertility. The ultimate aim is to contribute to lowering fertility rate in India by creating a delivery model on information and services on Sexual and Reproductive Health that widens contraceptive choice, avoids reliance on method specific targets and address health needs in an integrated manner.
This comprises three components — self-testing for pregnancy, a telephone counseling centre, and escort service to empanel Reproductive Health Service Providers. Neighbourhood volunteers will offer pregnancy test kits to women for self testing and collect basic data; young women can (after or without pregnancy testing) telephone a call centre which will counsel them on options, offer some services at ARTH clinics and/or referral (with an escort if needed) to empaneled specialist providers. The project features a baseline and end line survey of pregnancy testing and care-seeking linked to pregnancy – contraceptive initiation and sustained use, action for wanted and unwanted pregnancy and failure to conceive.
Though, the intervention has just started, a formal Call Centre will be set up with help of external agency. For the time being, the incoming calls details are recorded electronically.
Taruni Sakhi refer women for indications like menstruation problems, pregnancy, abortion, infection etc. Taruni Sakhis provide these women with referral slips and refer them to nearest ARTH’s clinics. Women who call on helpline numbers are also referred if needed by the helpline counselor to the clinic or nearest government hospitals or empaneled doctors for appropriate treatment.
Taruni Helpline which is a mobile based helpine centre, is run by a team that comprises of trained nurse midwife and a social worker who work as counselors and are available between 9 am to 5 pm. Through this helpline women are counseled and guided on reproductive health issues on telephones and also facilitate them to decide on suitable contraceptives. The counselor also makes referral for those needing a clinic procedure.
A 3 days training (20 -22 May 2015) for counselor was conducted to capacitate them on counseling issues and challenges faced over telephonic counseling.
The helpline was started in last week of March 2015, after training of Taruni Sakhis (Neighborhood volunteers) who enroll women in their areas for membership of Helpline and also make them aware about telephonic counseling services.
From April to June 2015, 244 calls have been received, on an average 4 calls a day. Majority calls were related to pregnancy, followed by vaginal discharge, infertility and menstruation problem.