The beginning of a new year brings a look back on the previous one. In 2021, despite pandemic challenges, the Mozambique Canada Maternal Health Project continued to advance our work.
We continued to engage community members in activities to improve maternal and sexual health. 2021 saw the creation of 16 youth committees in partner communities Topics for education and discussion included:
- COVID-19 prevention and care, sanitation and hygiene
- the importance of institutional deliveries, and the specifics of good prenatal and postnatal care, especially in the context of COVID-19
- avoiding early and unwanted pregnancy, addressing early and forced marriage and sexual and reproductive rights
Sessions took place within village health committees as well as in community markets, at water sources (boreholes/water pumps), and in neighbourhoods.
We continued to support the 20 community-based microprojects and in 2021 we focused on establishing long-term sustainability.
To improve health services, in 2021 we procured and distributed PPE to all 150 health facilities in Inhambane province for COVID-19 prevention/response.
Training for health workers took place mostly on site.
- managing obstetrical complications
- newborn resuscitation
- priority protocols
- correct use of MCH medical equipment
In 2021, we worked on strengthening the network of support for pregnant and delivering women. At the community level, we engaged caregivers and community leaders in identifying how to support pregnant women, expanding on previous years’ training sessions for birth attendants and others, and contributed where possible to the transportation network, such as with a local ambulance. At the health services level, we held sessions to strengthen referral systems at the provincial and district levels, including the preparation of a protocol to be disseminated to facilities with maternity wards.
At the turn of 2021, the project’s newly built facilities were put to use (4 maternity clinics and 3 maternal waiting homes). During the year, we built additional cleaning and cooking structures at each the new facilities. We also initiated a strategy for turning the facilities into model sites of humanized, community-engaged care.
Our research agenda also advanced:
- We carried out the data collection for the maternal near-miss research at 2 sites, Inhambane Provincial Hospital and Vilankulo Provincial Hospital.
- We completed 2 of 3 maternal waiting homes studies.
- We produced a training tool for health workers from the ongoing qualitative maternal experiences study.
Finally, we successfully obtained a 1-year no-cost extension to the project. Our work will therefore continue into 2023, and we look forward to continuing to fulfill the mandate of our work to improve maternal and sexual health in Mozambique.