Community Mobilization for Safe Motherhood in Kiboga District
The FIGO Save the Mothers Project, conducted in the District of Kiboga from 1999-2004, aimed to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity in the district by promoting the availability, access and utilization of emergency obstetrical care (EOC) services for women. It was conducted conjointly by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) and the Association of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Uganda (AOGU), in collaboration with the Health Officials of the District of Kiboga.
The objectives of the project were:
- Upgrade of skills, improvement in the quality of care and acquisition of the necessary drugs, equipment and supplies in order to decrease delays in receiving the essential obstetrical care needed at the health facilities
- Establishment of an emergency communication and transportation system in order to reduce the delays in accessing the neededservices in a timely fashion
- Community mobilization activities in an effort to reduce delays in deciding to seek care (due to lack of knowledge and information related to pregnancy and birth danger signs, husband’ or other family members refusal to seek medical assistance and other social and cultural barriers).
Although the project’s core interventions terminated in May 2004, AOGU continues to be active in the district, mobilizing communities for safe motherhood by raising awareness about the dangers of unskilled attendance at birth.
This crucial component of FIGO Save the Mothers Initiative was funded by the Canadian Auto Workers Social Justice Fund.
he project sought to mobilize communities to reduce delays in deciding to seek care (due to lack of knowledge and information related to pregnancy and birth danger signs, husband’ or other family members refusal to seek medical assistance and other social and cultural barriers).
Evaluation of the mobilization revealed that poverty was a major constraint to seeking health care and this was addressed through introducing a village savings and loans scheme (VSLA) for safe motherhood. Through this scheme, mothers needing emergency care could access the funds.
Successes of this component included:
- The improvement in overall household incomes of the community members
- Community members are able to save money for transport to health units and buy drugs not available in health units from drug shops. (Five hundred thirty four (534) community members both male and female accessed medical care with assistance from the fund in 2009)
- There is increased cooperation among community members as they interact more for the “save” cause.
- There is more women involvement in financial matters of the communities as evidenced by majority leadership of the various groups. The leadership of each group is comprised of 5 members. Three (3) out of the 5 have to be female.
- Because of the success of the scheme within groups’ and mere existence of organized groups, they are attracting extra support from other sponsors.
- There is reduced crime in the area as the young men in the communities are more engaged in incoming generating activities as demanded by the community groups with targets to meet.
View report on other activities on community mobilisation for safe motherhood