According to the World Bank’s health data, a woman giving birth in Honduras is over four times likelier to die giving birth than a woman in the United States. An infant born in Honduras is over three times likelier to die before its first birthday than its American counterpart. The GE Foundation’s Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Program, in partnership with Consultores para el Desarrollo de Honduras (CODHO), is working to change that. Our team analyzed over 200 near-death cases in Western Honduras to understand what kind of barriers prevent expectant mothers from getting the care they need. As a result of this study, five interventions were identified:
- Direct training of clinicians and community volunteers in maternal and newborn health topics
- Integration of Kangaroo Mother Care, breastfeeding and childhood nutrition into training modules
- Transfer of the case-based review & decision-making methodology to clinical personnel and community volunteers
- In-service and in-home observation of clinician care and volunteer home-based education activities with real-time refresher trainings and monitoring efforts
- Volunteer transportation committee support of referral system
The impact of the program:
- 213 Community Health Volunteers have been trained. Community knowledge increased from 14% to 86% over the course of the program.
- 152 clinicians have been trained on nation obstetric standards. Best practice knowledge grew from 66% to 91%.
- The number of mothers who received prenatal care before 12 weeks gestation increased from 634 to 854 in one year, a 35% increase. Early prenatal care means that women can evaluate pregnancy risks and receive help to create birth plans for safe deliveries.
- Improved quality of services at health facilities shown by an 18% increase in total women delivering in a health facility (compare with 1.5% growth rate), continual reduction in community deliveries, and a 12% reduction in the proportion of newborn death to prematurity
- Increased access to services represented by an overall increase in pregnant women accessing ambulance referral services of 290% and a 43% increase in women attending antenatal care visits before 12 weeks gestation