In order to ensure that more women and families seek skilled care during pregnancy and labor, it is of crucial importance to empower the local community to take responsibility for and play an active part in improving women and children’s health and survival. With the support of MSD for Mothers, Maternity Foundation does this through two empowerment components.
1. Community Health Education:
Lifesaving awareness on reproductive, maternal and newborn health issues is established at household level through a trickle down system with local change agents. The change agents are trained in topics such as danger signals during pregnancy and delivery, family planning, the importance of antenatal care and skilled birth attendance. Once they have been trained they disseminate the health education messages at village level. Changes agents may be women group leaders, traditional male village leaders, traditional birth attendants, religious leaders, youth, front-line health workers.
2. Livelihood strengthening:
Improvement of impoverished women’s socioeconomic position and rights is carried out through training in small-scale business management and access to micro-loans, savings and loan associations, and income generating cooperatives.