This project aims to improve the quality and timeliness of maternal and newborn health services and reduce illness and death for at least 10,000 pregnant women and newborns. The project works to increase the number of trained health workers and improve access to quality care for mothers and newborns by creating three Centres of Excellence in Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. The Centres of Excellence are expected to provide health services, teaching and training in three locations in Mozambique. The project is implemented in three hospitals, which serve a substantial proportion of the population in their respective areas. The three high-use hospitals, currently designated as a “Model Maternity” by the Ministry of Health, are already providing pre-service training for health workers. The project aims to improve infrastructure, improve the quality of training provided, provide supervision support and enhance referral and community linkages, in order to transform these three hospitals into “Centres of Excellence”. Project activities include: (i) supporting communities and facilities to provide emergency transport to transfer women to facilities, including by distributing bicycle ambulances, and by providing small grants to strengthen local transport systems; (ii) establishing mobile phone networks so that smaller, peripheral health facilities can communicate easily with each Centre of Excellence; and (iii) improving the skills of at least 150 health workers using a model of competency-based training which focuses on learning-by-doing.
The expected intermediate outcomes for this project include: (i) establishment of three Centres of Excellence in maternal and newborn health; (ii) increased number of health workers trained in critical interventions to reduce facility-specific maternal and neonatal mortality rates; and (iii) increased number of women delivering in higher quality institutional health care.
Results achieved as of the end of the project (September, 2016) include: (1) three target healthcare facilities were established as model training facilities, and demonstrated improved provision of high impact interventions for maternal and neonatal health (MNH); (2) 105 health workers were trained in MNH high impact interventions, contributing to the reduction of facility-specific maternal mortality rates for the three main causes of maternal deaths; (3) the number of babies delivered (26,963) in the targeted institutions increased 79% from the beginning of the project; (4) the number of women who began using modern family planning methods increased 55% from the beginning of the project; and (5) 76,096 people were counselled by community lay counsellors on gender issues (e.g. gender based violence; the importance of male participation in reproductive health) and maternal and neonatal health, contributing to increased referrals for services and greater male involvement in health care visits.
These results have contributed to the goal of reducing maternal and newborn mortality in Mozambique.