Improved sexual, reproductive, maternal and newborn health for women, adolescent girls, and newborns in 5 districts in Mozambique

Canadian Project Director Jessie Forsyth

Project Director Jessie Forsyth of the Mozambique –Canada Maternal Health Project (2017-2022) recently presented at the  University of Saskatchewan Global Health Conference, with Principal Investigator Nazeem Muhajarine. Jessie also presented at the U of S CH&E Research Day.

A core part of the presentation discussed how gender equality cuts across all sectors of project work in reducing maternal mortality. In Mozambique, as elsewhere in the world, gender inequality is strongly linked to poor health outcomes and in particular to maternal mortality. Therefore, the project:

–        Works to reduce gender inequality in all interventions;

–        Focuses on supporting conditions for women to make decisions about their health;

–        Does so by (1) working directly with women in communities (20 community partnerships throughout Inhambane province); (2) working with health professionals and managers to improve the sexual, reproductive, maternal, and neonatal care that women receive, and increase gender sensitivity within the healthcare system; (3) through research, learning more about the conditions of women’s lives, reflecting on the clinical interventions that reduce mortality, and seeking to improve the maternal waiting home system.

A pillar to the project is the community-based and learner-centred methodology developed in the former Training for Health Renewal Program. Active, respectful relationship-building and collaboration are key. It is also important to continually find innovative ways for project participants in the 3 focal areas of intervention (community; health system; research) to engage and exchange.

The project has developed a learning tool to promote discussion in its training and community engagement, linking maternal mortality to health system and socio-economic factors.