This is chapter 3 of Engaging Communities for Improving Mothers’ and Children’s Health: Reviewing the Evidence of Effectiveness in Resource-Constrained Settings. This chapter is a review of community–based primary health care programs, projects, and research studies that aimed to improve health of newborns during their first 28 days of life.
This paper investigates the effect of expanding the population coverage of evidence-based interventions that community health workers provide outside of facilities. Using the Lives Saved Tool, the authors examined 73 countries and estimated that, if population coverage was expanded to 90%, 6.9 million lives of mothers and their children under the age of 5 could be saved during the period from 2016 to 2020.
Tremendous challenges remain to ensure that the most vulnerable populations, including women, children, and adolescents, are able to enjoy the healthy lives and well-being promised in the Sustainable Development Goals. Much of their poor health is caused by poverty, gender, lack of education, and social marginalization as well as inaccessible healthcare services. Strong, equitable, and well-governed health systems can contribute to sustainably improving their lives.
Lochuch, a CHW in Kenya, faces many challenges in her job as she tries to protect the health of those in her community. She has dealt with angry husbands and ambulance denials; actions that could lead to harm of pregnant women. Lochuch is working to ensure that women can deliver in a hospital. This article details her personal experience overcoming barriers in her community and the resilience with which she and her co-workers advocate for their clients.
In Kenya, maternal and child mortality rates are still high despite government efforts aimed at improving MCH. This study’s objective was to determine the effect of a CHW led primary health care intervention, Community Health Strategy (CHS) on focused antenatal care (FANC) in Mwingi, Kenya. Researchers employed a pretest -posttest experimental study design with 1 pretest and 2 post-test surveys in intervention and control sites. Data was collected from 422 households in each survey and the main respondents were women with a child aged 9-12 months.
Mozambique has witnessed a climbing total fertility rate in the last 20 years. Nearly one-third of married women have an unmet need for family planning, but the supply of family planning services is not meeting the demand.
A quarter of the world's neonatal deaths and 15% of maternal deaths happen in India. Few community-based strategies to improve maternal and newborn health have been tested through the country's government-approved Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs). This study aimed to test the effect of participatory women's groups facilitated by ASHAs on birth outcomes, including neonatal mortality. The findings indicate that ASHAs can successfully reduce neonatal mortality through participatory meetings with women's groups.
It is a cold rainy day, and a pregnant mother’s water has just broken. A young man stares at the pouring rain hitting the muddy path and sighs. He has no way of getting his wife to the health center that is a two hour walk from his mud-thatched house. He has no money, his bicycle tires are worn out, and they both have no idea what to do! She dies as a result of obstructed labor.
The following is a Q&A between Julia Bluestone of Jhpiego and the Frontline Health Workers Coalition and Dr. Henry Perry of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health on a recently released report examining community health workers’ effectiveness in saving lives and improving health. The post was originally published in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Impatient Optimists blog.
Though HIV can be transmitted from mother to child through breast milk, studies have shown that women living with HIV are less likely to pass the virus if they breast-feed their babies exclusively for at least four months. Breast milk contains nutrients and essential antibodies that can help babies fend off dangerous infections.
The Kamwimbi family in Kenya, where EGPAF and its partners are leading efforts to help women living with HIV have happy, healthy babies through maternal and child health programs. Courtesy EGPAF.