Birth Village south India's first natural birthing centre has created a local NGO - Birth for Change (BfC) - providing a variety of services to the women and girls living in the slum colonies of Kochi. BfC contacted Network for Information and Digital Access (NIDA), for assistance with a pilot project specifically addressing maternal health problems in this community.

First there will be an impact assessment process testing the results of a programme of health education interventions, based upon specific questions relating to menstruation, diet, drugs and alcohol (foetal alcohol syndrome). Additional questions, up to a maximum of 6, will be added as the project progresses and we measure the level of participation.

Second, we will assess the effectiveness of a variety of interventions, including inducements in the form of healthy food and dietary supplements as well as group education sessions in a health clinic within the Udaya slum.

Third, there will be an oral questionnaire on general matters pertaining to maternal health given to a random group before the interventions and again at the end of the project. It is anticipated that there will be a minimum of 10% participation allowing for a representative sampling of the population.

The project is being carried out as a partnership between Birth for Change (BfC) and NIDA. BfC will deliver the educational interventions and monitor their impact. The pilot is co-funded by Hardie Wren Development Initiatives (HWDI).