Maternal and Child Health
Every day in 2017, approximately 810 women died from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth, Almost all these deaths occurred in developing countries and most could have been prevented.
But did you know?
The number of women dying during pregnancy and the number of children dying before the age of five is decreasing. Between 2000 and 2017, the maternal mortality ratio (MMR, number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births) dropped by about 38% worldwide.
What is World Vision Ireland doing?
Since 2011, World Vision Ireland has been implementing its maternal and child health programme (AIM Health) in several countries across East and West Africa which was funded by Irish Aid.
Here are some of the amazing results:
In North Rukiga, Uganda, it was estimated that the number of babies dying in the first month of their lives reduced by 61% between 2012 and 2015
In Guerrou and Mbagne, Mauritania the number of children dying before their 5th birthday fell by 32% between 2012 and 2015.
In Mundemu, Tanzania the number of mothers dying as a result of pregnancy or childbirth fell by 23% between 2012 and 2015
An independent evaluation of the AIM Health was conducted by FARST Africa in 2015 The results indicated that the programme goal of reducing infant and maternal mortality rates by 20% was achieved to the desired level in most programme sites. You can read the AIM Health evaluation report here.
Read some of our inspirational stories
Aim Health Plus
The programme is now in its second phase (2017 -2021) and is being implemented in Mauritania, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda. This programme is called AIM Health Plus and we are proud to say that it is also funded by Irish Aid. Continue reading below to find out about this unique approach.
Simple, cost effective and life saving
We work with the Ministry of Health in each country to train Community Health Workers who volunteer their help every week by visiting pregnant women and mothers in their homes and providing them support, guidance and advice at critical times, using World Vision’s Timed and Targeted Counselling approach. Husbands and extended family are encouraged to play their role in ensuring both mother and baby are as safe and healthy as possible. The Community Health Workers encourage high impact, low cost, life-saving interventions such as good nutrition during pregnancy, delivering a baby in a health centre instead of at home where the risks are much higher and taking their babies to the health centre for check-ups.
Equipping Community Health Workers with innovative technology
Community Health Workers are equipped with mobile phones, which help them to deliver messages to the household. Using mobile phones, they can also log the pregnant mother's details, register them immediately with a health clinic and refer them for services. It also sends them reminders of their next visit.
Empowering communities to assess their health needs
To support Community Health Workers, we also train Community Health Committees to assess their community's health needs and to develop action plans to respond to these needs, such as the construction of toilet facilities to improve sanitation. They also bring communities together to raise awareness of healthy practices such as exclusive breast feeding.
Empowering communities to demand better health services
Community members are also equipped to hold their own governments accountable for the promises they make. We call this our Citizen Voice and Action (CVA) approach. It aims to increase dialogue between those who bear a duty to provide services to the public and ordinary citizens. We mobilise CVA groups to advocate together for things such as a new health facility in Sierra Leone, the repair of an ambulance in Uganda, or connecting a health facility to the electric grid.