Mama & Family Project

AT A GLANCE

Project began: 2014

Location: Mayuge District in Southeastern Uganda

Aim: To improve maternal and newborn health by providing support to women and infants during pregnancy and after childbirth

At SOGH, we care passionately about health care for women and children. In 2014, we launched the Mama & Family Project, previously called the Maama Project, to provide effective support to women and infants during pregnancy and after childbirth. The Project takes place in a rural area of southeastern Uganda, where 1 in 49 women die from pregnancy and childbirth-related causes and 3 out of every 100 babies born die during their first month of life (World Bank, 2017). Research has shown that many of these deaths can be prevented with simple, low-cost interventions (Bhutta et al., 2008).   The Mama & Family Project takes place in southeastern Uganda where the health care resources are limited and the challenges are many. SOGH works in collaboration with local leaders and in partnership with Uganda Development and Health Associates. The Project harnesses the power of communities by training community health workers (CHWs) to address many of the difficulties being faced by mothers and their infants.

 

Improving maternal and newborn health

Delay in seeking health care is the single largest reason of newborn deaths in our Project area. Our CHWs are trained to conduct home visits to pregnant women and women who have recently given birth. The women are provided with information on birth preparedness, safe childbirth, and newborn care. To date, our CHWs have made over 2,200 home visits to women in local villages. After an infant’s birth, the CHW continues to make visits to ensure the safety of both mother and child.

 

With the help of local community health workers, we are able to conduct home visits to all pregnant women in our project area. During a home visit, the community health worker offers the mother information on birth preparedness, the importance of attending antenatal care and giving birth in a health facility. After birth, the community health worker equips the mother with information on her reproductive rights, family planning and newborn care. In addition to training and supporting the community health workers, we work closely with the local leaders and health care staff in the area and organise community dialogues in project villages. The dialogues allow us to provide information about pregnancy care, newborn health and family planning to all community members, including men and adolescent girls.

 

Birth kits – Reducing infections and increasing antenatal attendance

Before, you could find a mother who had just given birth and then covered the baby in a bed sheet that they use at home. But now you can find a woman who shows you a full bag of things that she has prepared for the birth.
Rose Nangobi

Community Health Worker

SOGH sponsored birth kits are given free of charge to expectant mothers. These kits provide sterile bandages, sheets, soap and other supplies to expectant mothers. The birth kits are given to the mothers on their fourth antenatal visit, incentivising women to complete all visits. The kits also play a large role in ensuring clean birth practices, which have been linked with infection-related neonatal mortality reduction of up to 40% (Blencowe et al., 2011). The birth kit also encourages women to give birth at a health facility. Health facilities often ask women to purchase and bring items such as sheets, gloves and soap with them when they come to deliver, a financial burden that can be the decisive factor between a facility and a home delivery. The birth kit lifts the financial stress of obtaining the items, allowing women to use the money for transport and other supplies.

The Maina Clinic Midwife – Maternal support from conception to post-delivery

In 2018, SOGH was able to sponsor and provide a new fundamental figure for the Mama & Family Project: a Midwife. Fancy Mawogole is committed professional and highly trained midwife who provides the best quality care and support for mothers and families throughout their antenatal, intrapartum and post-partum periods. Her previous experience was at the maternity ward at Iganga Hospital that, Fancy said, taught her the importance of acting quickly and calmly. Fancy has a positive and friendly disposition which means she gets along with all different types of people. Her character make the communication with patients easy and help to build trust, a key factor in health care and midwifery. To know more about Miss Fancy and her work, check out our Girls’ Globe Blog “What it’s like to be Fancy: Midwifery in Uganda”

A good midwife should respect and treat all mothers equally – with no discrimination.
Fancy Mawogole

Midwife in the Maina clinic

Tangible results

We at SOGH are passionate about data and evidence. We conduct yearly evaluations and monitor the project continuously in order to improve all aspects of our programming.

The Maama Project has done a lot for our parish. Mothers now know the importance of coming for antenatal care and delivery. Thanks to the birth kits, the number of mothers who complete all four antenatal visits has increased. Some health centres can get even zero third or fourth visits, whereas we got 22 last month.
Margret

Nurse at the Maina health centre

Here are some numbers illustrating what was accomplished by the project between July 2014 and July 2018. Further information about the project and how the information was collected, more detailed results and future challanges can be found in the full report below.
1447554566_f182

ANTENATAL CARE

VISITS

3765
HOME VISITS
CONDUCTED
1447554594_f0fa
782
CLEAN BIRTH KITS
DISTRIBUTED

Read our latest report here: Evaluation report 2018

Older reports: 2017 / 2016 / 2015