Humans of Safe Care, Saving Lives

This is the fourth in a series of profiles of the dedicated individuals behind the Safe Care, Saving Lives project. Safe Care, Saving Lives is a quality improvement project to improve neonatal care in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. See the firstsecond, and third posts in the series.

Vijayashanthi, Staff Nurse, Government General Hospital, Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh
Staff Nurse,
Government General Hospital,
Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh

“I hail from Ravulapadu, a small village situated in the East Godavari district of the state of Andhra Pradesh. Agricultural production in this part of the world is subject to the vagaries of nature. The years when crops fail are particularly difficult on the families dependent on agriculture for a living. Any ill health in the family and the associated expenses are calamitous for the family’s finances.

My father is a sharecropper. He encouraged me to become a nurse because he witnessed and suffered these difficulties. He believed this would be the best way to help the people around us.

I completed my training in general nursing and midwifery in 2010. I worked for two years in the labor room of Government General Hospital, Kakinada, as a contractual employee. In 2013, I entered permanent service at the hospital as a nurse for the sick newborn care unit. It is a challenging job. It is particularly difficult on those days when the unit is full of sick newborns. Salaries, too, have been a concern in the face of ever increasing costs of living.

However, we feel blessed to be able to be at the forefront of newborn care. Each baby that survives makes the hard work worthwhile. I hope to pursue a Bachelor’s of Nursing, which will help further my career and help me set a good example for my peers.”