Within communities, MaiKhanda works with women to form women’s groups in villages. These groups are comprised of women of child bearing age – usually there are around 20 to 25 women in each group. Each group covers a population of up to 750 people.
The women meet regularly to discuss pregnancy and child birth issues. These meetings follow a format that has proven to be effective tool elsewhere such as India and Bangladesh. MaiKhanda provides training for group facilitators so they are able to follow an prescribed action cycle as they facilitate meetings within the community.
To date we have helped established 2,000 plus women’s groups reaching over 500 000 people.
Health Care Facilities Engagement
Community engagement activities like the women’s groups can only be effective if good quality healthcare facilities exist to support mothers and babies. At facility level, MaiKhanda trains healthcare teams in the Quality Improvement methodology. The health workers form Quality Improvement teams within their facilities which comprise of nurses, midwives, medical assistants, clinical officers, data clerks, and Health Surveillance Assistants. These teams meet regularly to identify gaps in healthcare processes and introduce changes to those processes in order to close the gaps.
Quality Improvement teams from different health facilities meet regularly to collaboratively share learning and insights. This collaborative approach means changes can be suggested and tested district-wide, meaning pilot initiatives can be rapidly rolled out based on robust evidence.
Linking Communities to Healthcare Facilities
Safe Motherhood Taskforces act as the link between communities and healthcare facilities. The Taskforces are committees formed by 10 to 15 village volunteers under one group village headman. The Taskforces are supervised by Health Surveillance Assistants. MaiKhanda supports the Health Surveillance Assistants to undergo training in community based maternal and child health. Health Surveillance Assistants are then able to facilitate training for all Taskforce members. The Taskforce members are trained in:
Basic home counseling of pregnant women
Follow-up of pregnant women
Recording new pregnancies
Keeping track of high risk pregnant women.
The Taskforce members and Health Surveillance Assistants meet regularly to discuss maternal and neo-natal health issues and feedback progress to healthcare facilities. MaiKhanda supports the Taskforce with tools for data collection at community level. We facilitate the meetings where the community feeds back to the facility their views and observations about the service they are receiving.