Strengthening community and public health partnerships to reduce maternal mortality rates

Even though South Africa has one of strongest and most developed economies on the African continent, the country still struggles with a high maternal and child mortality rate.

According to the most recent figures from the World Health Organization, South  Africa has cut maternal deaths from 189,5 per 100,000 births in 2009 to 132,9 per 100,000 in 2012/13, but the country is still far from meeting the 38 deaths per 100,000 births 2015 target set forth by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The lack of constructive relationships and the exchange of information between community health providers and public health officials is one of the many problems. Now, thanks to international donor Misean Cara, a new project that Good Shepherd Sisters will participate and serve as a lead partner in will address the poor quality of maternal health care and mortality rates.

The “Strengthening the community/public health partnership” project will provide joint training in leadership, sustainability and partnership skills for 250 healthcare officials and 250 staff members from 45 Catholic health providers. Plus, a total of 400 community health workers - 150 from government and 250 from community-based organizations - will receive training in the areas of maternal and child health and gender-based violence.

The project will be managed by Catholic Health Care Association South Africa.

By providing skilled and trained maternal and child health care workers in poorer communities, the final beneficiaries of this project will be the community members, most especially pregnant women, as well as new mothers with children under the age of five, who will have access to prevention and care.

This project will get underway later this year, but to learn more about it contact us here and to donate directly click here.