Part II: Why we should invest more in nonpregnant, underserved women

Today is the second of a three-part series on why we believe that investments in women’s health should be more inclusive. To illustrate this we’ll profile our customer, Deivarani.

Deivarani, her husband and two children live in a 120 square foot home that has no toilet or shower. When Tulalens first began working with her, she was slow to adopt the recommendations we made. Over time, we learned about the hurdles she faces and how to help her overcome them.  

Deivarani is a homemaker. Her daughter is the primary breadwinner in the family. Her husband is a plumber and an alcoholic. He comes home drunk and picks a fight with his wife almost every day. In order to avoid conflicts with him, she ignores his comments. Over time though, he started using our service as a reason to pick fights with her, and our community health worker. 

Above illustrates a typical interaction between our customers and our community health workers, who we equip with tablets to collect and share health information. 

Above illustrates a typical interaction between our customers and our community health workers, who we equip with tablets to collect and share health information. 

Many women in India are taught that they must adjust regardless of their husband’s behaviors, so it's unlikely Deivarani will ever leave her husband. An old Tamil saying sums up this practice well. “Kallanalum kanavan, pullanalum purushan” meaning ‘A husband is a husband, even if his heart is as hard as stone or as ever-changing like a blade of grass.’ 

However, Deivarani sees deep value in our service, so we want to find workarounds to invest in her. Ideally, we’d like to educate her husband on the benefits of our service, but have found it impossible to engage him. Instead, our community health worker has now customized the service, and doesn’t come to her house when her husband is there. Instead, she goes at a time when she can spend time with Deivarani and support her to live a healthier life. Deivarani's become one of our best performing customers, and her daughters have also adopted iron-rich ingredients. 

Interested in hearing more about the lives of our customers, and why it’s so imperative to invest in women’s health more inclusively? Join us again next Wednesday.