SaferMom Project is an initiative to improve maternal and newborn health in Nigeria. Presently, according to WHO report, Nigeria is one of the top 2 countries with the highest cases of maternal and newborn deaths in the world. Every 5 minutes, a pregnant woman dies as a result of preventable causes which can be averted through proper health education, pregnancy guides ,follow up and antenatal care. About 260,000 newborn lives are also lost yearly in Nigeria alone due to vaccine-preventable causes. SaferMom project is using low cost innovations to reach the socio- economic disadvantaged of the bottom pyramid. Safermom projects advocate for access to basic health care for mothers and newborns, increase in adherence to immunization and antenatal schedules, clean birth, health literacy. Within months of active advocacy, SaferMom was selected for Queen's young Leaders Award (an initiative of Queen Elizabeth II of England to reward/promote projects impacting their communities positive)
1) To advocate maternal and new born safety awareness in emerging economies
2) Improve maternal/child health, public health and family health sustainable goals in low income communities across sub-Sahara Africa with the goal of reducing avoidable death due to complication from child birth.
3) Improve antenatal visit by at least 30%
4) Improve show cases of presentation of babies for immunization in primary health centers by 50%
5) Ensure access to quality culturally competent care for vulnerable populations
6) To advocate against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
7) Promote clean birth among traditional birth attendants in rural communities
HOW THE OBJECTIVES WERE ACHIEVED
1) Feasibility study: Detailed assessment of the practicality of a proposed plan or method of advocacy for every community reached.
2) Strategic partnership: We built partnership in terms of technical and Knowledge base with existing organizations working to achieve and improve access to safe maternal and newborn health
3) Community Engagements and sensitization: Before commencement of the project, we engaged and sensitized the host Community, community leaders, residents and local youth representatives on the goal and proposed impact of the project.
1) Use of low cost technologies (SMS and voice call services) to reach large amounts of mothers in rural and low income communities
2) Our content was translated into 3 major Nigeria Languages to increase effective communication with pregnant and nursing mothers who are illiterate
3) Community engagements and sensitizations
4) Eco friendly/recycled pamphlets for immunization schedules/ante natal care reminders
We were able to reach 3000 pregnant mothers in 20 rural areas in 4 major district states in Nigeria’s biggest slums. This includes providing mobile health services through SMS and voice services. All with the intention of providing primary health care services to the base of the socio economic pyramid. This has also improved attendance for ante natal care, presentation of babies for immunization and general improvement of maternal and newborn health in these communities by at least 25% according to our statistics. We have also recruited at least 40 volunteers (which will include at least 90% girls and women) to register mothers in their local communities. They go on to develop small businesses with stipends paid for their contribution to actualization of the project in their communities. This is expected to break poverty chains and impact at least 150 extended family members.
- Cultural/ religious beliefs and barriers surrounding maternal and new born health in low income and rural communities.
But with our community engagement methodologies, communities we work with are beginning to embrace WHO recommended maternal and newborn standards
1) Community led advocacy is smarter and has more impact if low cost technologies are leveraged on.
2) While innovating, the community involved must be part of the solution design process.
3) Strategic partnership brings more impact