MFH Expands Zambia Pilot Project
We are so grateful to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange Fund for the recent grant which allows us to continue and expand upon our maternal/child health project in Zambia.
The goal of the Safe Deliveries for Mothers project is to improve health outcomes for Zambian mothers and children in the Eastern Province communities surrounding the Muzeyi Rural Health Center (RHC) and the St. Benedict RHC.
In partnership with the Zambian Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Sisters of Charity of Ottawa, Medicines for Humanity (MFH) began implementing a pilot project in Muzeyi in 2017 to strengthen community outreach and education, increase service utilization, and improve water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) practices.
The phenomenal results – including a decrease of 34% in babies born with low birthweight and increases of 60% in pregnant women receiving 4 antenatal clinic visits and 42% increase in the number of families with pit latrines – encouraged us to integrate nutrition components within the broader program and enlarge the geographic reach.
This expanded 1-year project will support the two centers to implement interventions that address the region’s high maternal and child mortality rates and continue to increase the uptake of services. MFH’s project will: 1) strengthen perinatal and nutrition services by building provider capacity, institutionalizing effective programming, and integrating clinic and community engagement and 2) change behavior of mothers and caregivers around priority health issues through education, peer groups, and enhanced social networks.