Maternity Worldwide are delighted to announce that we have been awarded a grant of £498,027 over 3 years from the Big Lottery Fund for our new integrated maternal health project in Malawi. The lottery funding will be used solely for our work in Malawi over the next 3 years.
The project, starting in September, will work in 80 villages in the Zomba district of Malawi to improve maternal and newborn healthcare. You will be able to read updates on the progress of the project on our Malawi page. Please find details of the project below.
What the programme will be focusing on:
The programme, which is due to begin in September 2014, will work with existing women’s groups and set-up new women’s groups to provide community maternal health promotion. All community members from the 80 villages will be invited to attend as it is important all members of the community are aware of the risks associated with pregnancy and childbirth.
The groups will be run by local volunteers who will have been trained to provide support and guidance to help women to identify there maternal and newborn health challenges. Topics covered during these sessions will include accessing antenatal care, family planning, HIV testing, trigger signs in pregnancy/child birth, planning for delivery, care for newborns, contraception and basic healthcare.
Training around managing money and marketing will be provided at the women’s groups, and 1,500 of the poorest women will receive loans for income generating activities. This will empower the women by enabling them to become financially independent and make their own decisions about how to spend the money they have earned. Men will continue to have an important role in household decision making and as leaders within the community, and their inputs will be encouraged at community meetings and other related activities such as health promotion.
Training will be provided which will equip staff with the knowledge and skills to provide the basic and comprehensive obstetric care at two health centres and Pirimiti community hospital respectively ensuring women who arrive at the health facilities to give birth are met by suitably skilled medical personnel.
A Midwife Trainer will lead and supervise a group of 24 staff to become Skilled Birth Attendants (SBA). Referral and management procedures will be improved in and between the facilities to ensure that women receive timely and appropriate care.
The project will also develop a complementary training programme to increase the knowledge of government Health Surveillance Assistants (HSA), which will enable them to advise families and communities on best practices during pregnancy and childbirth during their routine household visits and other community outreach activities. 69 HSA will be trained including seven newly recruited funded by the project to ensure adequate household coverage.