Maternal & Child Health
World Vision Ireland is committed to health and nutrition programmes and we believe that access to basic healthcare is essential to breaking the cycle of poverty.
Maternal and Child Health
In 2015, about 830 women died due to complications of pregnancy and child birth every day, while about 7,000 newborns died every day. Almost all of 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. Since 1990, the number of women dying during pregnancy has decreased by about 44% while the number of children who die before their fifth birthday has decreased by 56%.
What is World Vision Ireland doing?
Since 2011, World Vision has been implementing its maternal and child health programme (AIM Health) in a number of countries across East and West Africa. We are proud to say this programme was funded by Irish Aid.
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% over four years.
In Mundemu, Tanzania the number of mothers dying as a result of pregnancy or child birth fell by 23% between 2012 and 2015
You can read the evaluation report here
In October - December 2015, an independent evaluation of the AIM Health Programme was conducted by FARST Africa. The outcome and impact results from the AIM Health Programme End Line Evaluation Report indicate that the programme goal of reducing infant and maternal mortality rates by 20% was achieved to the desired level in most programme sites. Importantly, according to this report, the sustainability of these maternal, neonatal and child health outcomes was “in-built in the AIM Health programme design; as a capacity building partnership with government and communities.” (Pg. 105)
Our Maternal and Child Health Programme
The programme is now in its second phase and will run until 2021 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 for more details on how this programme works.
Simple, cost effective and life saving
We work with the Ministry of Health in each country to train Community Health Workers who support pregnant women and their babies throughout their pregnancy and for the first two years of their child's life
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 the mobile phone they can also log the pregnant mother's details, register them immediately with a health clinic and send their information to that clinic.
Empowering communities to assess their health needs
Community Committees have been trained by World Vision to assess their community's health needs and to develop action plans to respond to these needs. Examples include the construction of toilet facilities to improve sanitation in the community. They also bring communities together to raise awareness of issues, such as the importance of exclusive breastfeeding.
Empowering communities to demand better health services
We work with local advocacy groups to discuss local health issues and create solutions for the problems they face. One of the roles that the advocacy groups carry out is to hold duty bearers to account and follow up on promises they made in order to strengthen health services.
Since 2011 over 2,000 Community Health Workers have been trained to:
- Visit pregnant women and new mothers in their homes and provide them with support, guidance and advice at critical times, using World Vision’s Timed and Targeted Counselling approach.
- Support pregnant women and new mothers to attend their check-ups.
- Advise on how to ensure both mother and baby eat nutritious food.
- Encourage and support immunisation.
- Get men involved; help husbands and extended family to play their role in ensuring both mother and baby are as safe and healthy as possible.