Effect of SHG Health Interventions on Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health

In a two-armed quasi-experimental study in Bihar, India, Saggurti et al. (2018) sampled 1,182 groups (810 SHG groups and 372 control groups) to determine whether an eight-session behavior-change health intervention effected healthy maternal and newborn practices (MNCH). The SHG model implemented was an innovative approach based on a partnership between the Gates Foundation and Government of Bihar that combined both supply and demand-side interventions that integrated eight weekly cycles on different thematic health modules. They found that structured participatory communication on MNCH with women’s groups improved positive health practices. Women in an SHGs were more likely to use contraceptive methods, have institutional delivery, practice skin-to-skin care, delay bathing for 3 or more days, initiate timely breastfeeding, exclusively breastfeed the child and provide age-appropriate immunization. They were also more likely to report collective efficacy; they were supported by fellow SHG members for antenatal, post-delivery and received information about maternal, neonatal and child health from peers. 

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