Project Votsira provided caregivers with essential sexual, reproductive, maternal and child health information and strengthened the capacity of community health workers to deliver high-quality health education.
Every day in Madagascar, 10 mothers die from childbirth-related causes and 100 children die from preventative illnesses.USAID, 2014
Faced with limited access to healthcare services and a lack of maternal and child health knowledge, caregivers often turn to friends and relatives for advice or seek treatment from informal health services. To combat this problem, Project Votsira delivered a maternal and child health education course to mothers and grandmothers in 11 communities across Fort Dauphin. Designed in partnership with the local Ministry of Public Health, community health workers were trained to deliver this course through weekly lessons and household visits. Since 2013, Project Votsira conducted 880 education sessions and 3,874 household visits to over 3,900 caregivers.
Phase III of the project concluded with the delivery of a two-year child health course, focusing on deadly, yet common, childhood illnesses such as malaria, diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections. Comprehensive monitoring and evaluation indicated significant improvements in maternal and child health knowledge, with average knowledge of key healthcare information reaching over 93%. Additionally, caregivers reported the adoption of increased health-promoting behaviours, with caregivers 3.3 times more likely to seek a health professional for malaria and 2.2 times more likely for diarrhoea. These improvements have empowered caregivers to protect themselves and their children, producing a lasting and positive impact on maternal and child health across Fort Dauphin.
In future projects or phases, SEED will continue to equip caregivers with lifesaving information in future maternal and child health programming, whilst collaborating with local stakeholders to strengthen healthcare services in the region.
I share the information from the course to my family. For example, give birth in hospital and go immediately to the doctor when the child was sick. Don't wait [until] tomorrowA mother in Ampotatra, Fort Dauphin