JananiSewa Program was launched in June-July, 2008 in Sundargarh district as a new initiative under NRHM for helping pregnant women and community to overcome barriers such as lack of prompt referral transport, absence of a round-the-clock counseling center on pregnancy & neo-natal care related health risks and instant checking off of availability of consumables as blood for treatment. The project envisages a 24 × 7 hour helpline running from a tele-counseling center at the district headquarters hospital and many JananiSewa ambulances stationed at convenient locations in the district. Sundargarh District Periphery Development Society has provided ten ambulances to be located at each of the 10 first phase block hospital for promoting project activities.

The first phase block headquarters hospitals housing Janani Sewa Ambulances

Sl. No. Name of the Block/ Urban Local Bodies Name of the Hospitals Description of the Janani Express Managing Committee
1 Sundargarh (Sadar) District Headquarters Hospital TATA 407 RogiKalyanSamiti& District Health Society, Sundargarh
2 Rourkela Rourkela General Hospital Maruti OMNI RKS, Rourkela & RGH
3 Birmitrapur Community Health Center- II (CHC-II) Mahindra Marshal RKS, Birmitrapur
4 Hemgir Hemgir Upgraded CHC Mahindra Marshal RKS, Hemgir
5 Lephripara Sargipali CHC Mahindra Marshal RKS, Sargipali
6 Balishankara Kinjirikela CHC Mahindra Marshal RKS, Kinjirikela
7 Bargaon Bargaon CHC Mahindra Marshal RKS, Bargaon
8 Subdega Subdega CHC Mahindra Marshal RKS, Subdega
9 Bisra Bisra CHC Maruti OMNI RKS, Bisra
10 Lathikata Birkera CHC Maruti OMNI RKS, Birkera

The counseling and referral transport services could be reached from any place in the district by dialing a toll free no. 9437701234.The number is readily available with each of the 2263 ASHAs working at hamlet level.

The Janani Sewa Counseling Center receives hundreds of phone calls from expectant and nursing mothers from all parts of the district. Most of these calls are requests for Janani Express seeking transportation to the nearest sub-center or hospital for safe childbirth; others are enquiries on neo-natal and post-natal health care issues. In the year 2010-11, the Counseling Center received a total of 7992 phone calls and helped 5083 mothers-to-be get admission at a publicly run health facility on time.

The district of Sundargarh is a large expanse of territory with 17 community blocks and as many as 1744 villages some of which are located on remote hilly tracts forbidding easy access of man and vehicles, not to speak of transportation of urgent referrals. In these areas, services rendered through ANM centers or trained and well-equipped midwives could work until a better arrangement has been met out. The project does not also provide for Janani Express in several blocks of Bonai and Panposh subdivision. Hence, there need to be more vehicle and extension of institutional facilities to make the program reach out to maximum number of beneficiaries in the district.

Despite its funding based constrictions, the program is a laudable initiative under NRHM as it holds the key to significant line of approach in health service delivery system.