Authors: Tripathy P, Nair N, Barnett S, Mahapatra R, Borghi J, Rath S, Rath S, Gope R, Mahto D, Sinha R, Lakshminarayana R, Patel V, Pagel C, Prost A, Costello A.
Community mobilisation through participatory women’s groups might improve birth outcomes in poor rural communities. This study assessed this approach in a largely tribal and rural population in three districts in eastern India. The intervention group worked with a facilitator every month to support participatory action and learning for women, and facilitated the development and implementation of strategies to address maternal and newborn health problems. The primary outcomes were reductions in neonatal mortality rate (NMR) and maternal depression scores. Results showed that NMR was lower in intervention clusters. While it did not have significant effect on maternal depression overall, there was a reduction in moderate depression over three years.