Ranjana copes with her illness with support from the Asha family

Ranjana, a 27-year-old woman lives in Asha’s Kusumpur Pahari slum community. She migrated to Delhi 10 years ago when she got married to her husband. Ranjana’s parents were daily wage farmers in the district of Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradesh, working for other people’s farm. With 5 children in the family, food and shelter were scarce. Ranjana remembers her childhood as a difficult time and how she had to discontinue her studies after class 8 to support her parents.

After marriage Ranjana became a housewife while her husband started working as a security guard, making a meagre sum of Rs.5000 (70.72 USD/ 53.52 £) a month. Ranjana started visiting Asha to show herself to the doctor at Kusumpur Pahari Slum community and got associated with Asha. She became an active member of Mahila Mandal (Women’s Group) attending meetings and rallies regularly.

In the year 2008 Ranjana’s health started deteriorating. She complained of abdomen pain and started vomiting profusely. The Asha CHV (Community health volunteer) heard she was unwell and took her to a reputed government hospital nearby. Ranjana was diagnosed of having stones in her gall bladder and was advised surgery immediately. She got a laparoscopic surgery and recovered well. After a couple of years, Ranjana became a mother to a healthy baby boy.

Ranjana’s good health days were short lived. In 2018, she complained of severe pain on her back along with nausea and vomiting. She visited the Asha Polyclinic to get herself checked up. The ultrasound results confirmed that Ranjana had a kidney stone that was causing the trouble. To make matters more critical, Ranjana discovered that she was pregnant.

Looking at the critical and complicated turn of events, the Asha team took extra precautions for Ranjana. She was provided with nutrition counselling and self-care advice regularly. She also visited the community centre regularly to get antenatal check-ups done. The Asha team made sure to monitor Ranjana and her unborn baby’s health and well-being up close. When the due date arrived, Ranjana had to undergo a caesarean as her baby’s heartbeat was slow. The operation was a success and she gave birth to a healthy baby boy.

‘I was unaware and lacked knowledge about my health and nutrition, if it were not for Asha then I believe that I would have not given birth successfully for the second time. I am eternally grateful.’ says Ranjana. Currently Ranjana is a proud mother of 2 healthy boys. She is also undergoing treatment at Asha to get rid of the kidney stone with the help of medicines and self-care. She hopes to resume her active participation in the Mahila Mandal within her community.

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