Women and their Children’s Health (WATCH)

Reporting Organization:Plan International Canada
Total Budget ($CAD):$ 19,429,619
Timeframe: November 25, 2011 - September 30, 2015
Status: Completion
Contact Information: Unspecified

Partner & Funder Profiles

Reporting Organization

Plan International Canada

Funders (Total Budget Contribution)

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Country - Total Budget Allocation

Bangladesh - $ 4,569,846.39 (23.52%)

Mali - $ 4,286,173.95 (22.06%)

Zimbabwe - $ 4,000,558.55 (20.59%)

Ghana - $ 3,714,943.15 (19.12%)

Ethiopia - $ 2,858,096.95 (14.71%)

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Areas of Focus

Health - Total Budget Allocation

Health Promotion & Education (40 %)

Health Systems, Training & Infrastructure (36 %)

Primary Health Care (24 %)

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This project aims to improve maternal, neonatal and child health (MNCH) in underserved populations of 26 districts and sub-districts of Ghana, Mali, Ethiopia, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. Reaching over 1.85 million people, including families and community health workers, the project uses a community-based approach and works to improve the quality of community outreach and MNCH services while encouraging health-seeking behaviours, and improved health care management. Activities include: training government health workers on basic obstetric and neonatal care, safe deliveries, and management of childhood illnesses; training health facility managers to strengthen quality control; equipping 63 health facilities and 30 maternity wards; conducting home visits for postnatal care; and helping communities address traditional cultural views impeding the use of health services. Plan Canada is working with the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, UNICEF and ministries of health, to implement this project. This project is part of Canada’s Maternal, Newborn and Child Health commitment.

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Target Population

Gender and age: Adult women Adult men Adolescent females Children, girls Children, boys Under-5 children Newborns
Descriptors: Urban Rural
Total Direct Population: 1,850,000
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Results & Indicators

Expected Results


Achieved Results

The project contributed to building the capacity of 2,022 health facility personnel (41.4% female), 63,080 community health workers (95.6% female), and 42,753 (95.6% female) community mobilizers/volunteers.

With regard to maternal health indicators:
% of women aged 15-49 who received antenatal care by a skilled health provider at least four times during pregnancy increased from 45.5% to 62%.
% of live births attended by a skilled health personnel increased from 48.8% to 64.7%.
% of mothers of children 0-23 months who received two doses of tetanus increased from 46.7% to 55.5%.
% of mothers and babies who received postnatal care visits within three days of childbirth increased from 43.8% to 75.7%.
With regard to child health indicators:
% of children aged 0-24 months who received at least three doses of pentavalent vaccine increased from 53.7% to 75.7%.
% of infants aged 0-6 months who were exclusively breastfed increased from 64.9% to 77.8%.
% of children vaccinated against measles increased from 58.6% to 79.3%.

Results achieved as of September 2013 include: (i) developing a monitoring and evaluation framework with an online database system that aggregates data in real time to help develop better targeted, more effective maternal, newborn and child health programming; and (ii) developing a common understanding of the links between gender equality and better maternal, newborn and child health results. For example:

In Bangladesh, (i) 26 family welfare clinics that had not functioned for the past 15-20 years were rehabilitated and equipped; (ii) 148 community health committees were rehabilitated and played a key role in the re-establishment of functioning health facilities; and (iii) 93 birth attendants were trained and are improving women access to quality services.

In Zimbabwe, (i) the technical and managerial capacity of Health Care Committees was improved; (ii) community and religious leaders were trained in maternal, newborn and child health; (iii) village health worker groups were trained and in turn trained 150 care groups; (iv) five waiting mothers’ homes were built, including a Kangaroo Care Ward, which is a model for the country and is already contributing to reducing newborn mortality; and (v) health centres were rehabilitated.

In Mali, over 3,300 community groups attended maternal, newborn and child health and gender equality sessions.

In Ghana, community health committee members and health workers were trained in Basic Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care, preventing mother to child transmission of HIV, safe motherhood, child health and gender equality.

In Ethiopia, specialized training was provided to health workers, Health Development Army, government officers from district administration and staff from health offices, women and children’s affairs, health posts and health centres.

These results are contributing to reducing mortality among mothers, newborns and children in underserved populations by scaling up integrated health interventions and by increasing people’s awareness of, and access to, health services.


MNCH-related indicators
  • %/total of infants (0-5 months) who are fed exclusively with breast milk
  • %/total of mothers, and %/total of babies, who received postnatal care within two days of childbirth
  • %/total of women attended at least four times during pregnancy by any provider for reasons related to the pregnancy
SDG Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  • SDG 3.1.2 Proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel
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Associated Projects (If applicable)

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