This project aims to contribute to the reduction of maternal and child mortality amongst vulnerable women and children, including adolescent girls, in targeted underserved remote areas of Bangladesh, Ghana, Haiti, Nigeria and Senegal. The project works in these five countries to improve the quality, availability and utilization of essential maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) services, and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services. The project also works to strengthen the Canadian public’s understanding of the reasons behind Canada’s global investments in MNCH and SRH. Project activities include: (1) raising awareness of local leaders, role models and various community groups on ongoing MNCH services, positive healthcare practices, including health care-seeking behaviours; (2) training health care providers at both community and health facility levels on key MNCH interventions; (3) providing essential medicines and other medical supplies; (4) training health administrators and local health committees on planning, supervision and oversight of health resources and facilities; (5) training health workers and drivers in referring patients requiring more advanced care at specialized facilities, and providing health facilities with mobile technology and vehicles to facilitate emergency transportation; and (6) training and mentoring health care staff on improved data collection and reporting to inform local government on health resources and planning of services. Plan International Canada is implementing this project in partnership with Promundo and the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), as well as with Plan International offices in the project’s five targeted countries, local governments, and local NGOs.
The expected outcomes for this project include: (1) improved utilization of essential health services by mothers, pregnant women, adolescents girls, newborns and children under five years of age; (2) improved delivery of quality health services to mothers, pregnant women, adolescent girls, newborns and children under five years of age; (3) increased dissemination and use of MNCH data; and (4) increased endorsement by the Canadian public of Canadian global funding addressing MNCH issues.
Results achieved as of December 2018 include: (1) the percentage of pregnant women receiving prenatal care at least four times during their pregnancy has increased by 15 percentage points from 55 to 70 percent across all five countries with the increase among adolescent mothers slightly higher (17 percentage points) than adult women (15 percentage points); (2) the percentage of births attended by a skilled birth attendant in project areas increased by an average of 9 percentage points overall from 57 to 66 percent, and 11 percentage points among adolescent mothers below 19 years of age from 57 to 68 percent; (3) the percentage of women attending postnatal care within 48 hours of giving birth increased by 15 percentage points, from 52 to 67 percent in project areas. Here too, the increase was even higher (20 percentage points) among adolescent mothers; (4) post-partum use of contraception has increased in four of the five countries; and (5) the percentage of sampled health facilities deemed to be gender-responsive and adolescent-friendly increased by an average of 16 percentage points across all five countries.