The Maama & Family Project-A Maternal and Newborn Health Project in Mayuge District
Fischer, Clara Nelly
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This presentation aims at improving maternal and new-born health outcomes in Mayuge district, working with the local community to enhance their own health, Training community health workers (CHW), Reducing infections and increase antenatal attendance through the distribution of birth kits. Background: The Mama & Family Project follows a joint statement by WHO and UNICEF that recommends a home visit strategy to reduce newborn deaths. Founded in 2014 in a collaboration between UDHA and SOGH, the Mama & Family Project was implemented at Maina health centre, Mayuge District to increase access to health care services for mothers and newborns in the project catchment area. Objective The project aims at lowering maternal and newborn mortality, increasing the knowledge of maternal and newborn health as well as the uptake of health services such as antenatal care visits and facility based deliveries. Methods: The project is based on a community model of two prenatal and three postnatal home visits tested and evaluated by the Uganda Newborn Study (UNEST) conducted in Iganga and Mayuge districts. Community Health Workers (CHWs) identify pregnant women in the community and provide two prenatal and three postnatal home visits (on days 1, 3 and 7 after birth). During these visits, the CHW provides counselling on safe newborn care practices and family planning. They also identify low birth weight babies and provide referrals to nearby health facilities. In addition, to promote hygienic practices during birth, single-use birth kits (Maama kits) containing two pairs of sterile gloves, cotton wool, sterile blade, a preparation sheet, a plastic sheet, soap, cord tires and a new child growth and postnatal clinic card. These kits are given to the pregnant women on their fourth antenatal visit, acting as an incentive for the women to attend ANC four times. Results: During the first three years the project has reached over 2000 pregnant women within the project catchment area and employed 12 community health workers. The number of women who attend antenatal care visits has also doubled. Conclusion: Empowering local community members, in particular women, to become change leaders in their villages, has led to improved maternal and newborn outcomes.
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