Catalyzing Government Efforts to Reduce Child Mortality and Improve Maternal Health Services through Community Preparedness and Increased Advocacy Efforts in Zambia
SAfAIDS Zambia, with support from Save the Children, have just completed a successful 8-months project where the capacity of Community Based Volunteers (CBVs), policy makers, key stakeholders and parliamentarians was improved to better understand the importance of Maternal Child Health (MCH), and be able to advocate for increased access to services (including SRHR and PMTCT). The project also successes in re-establishing mothers’ shelters for pregnant women in some of Zambia’s remotest villages.
In Petauke, Nyimba and Mazabuka districts the partnership:
- Trained 150 community based volunteers reaching 2,132 men and 4046 women
- Aired pre-recorded radio programmes in all 3 districts,
- Conducted door-to-door sensitization through the trained CBVs
- Reinforced local referral systems for MNCH services that saw 409 women and 215 men utilizing the service
- Held community dialogues with community members, health service providers and leaders.
This highly intensive project, then, has yielded some significant results.
“…This has been a unique project in that key decision makers have been involved during the project design, planning and even in providing feedback. This is a different project from others… Because of the challenges that were highlighted during the FGDs, I asked all the government workers through a memo to contribute at least K10, 000 towards revamping of mothers shelters in the district. This will encourage mothers to come for the MNCH services in good time. Of course not every worker is paying. I have contributed K1, 500,000 towards the same and one of the mothers’ shelters has been refurbished. I am grateful to SAFAIDS for convening common platforms where decision makers and community members can meet and share common challenges and find common solutions” Nyimba District Commissioner
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Participants in a MNCH community dialogue...