WNF joins a Maternal Outreach Program (MOP) in which pregant women in rural areas get maternal health services and instruction on birth control.
The Maternal Outreach Program (MOP) aims at paying visits to remote villages around the Masanga Hospital, providing maternal health services to pregnant women and instructing the community on birth planning and control.
These women often face multiple barriers in reaching Masanga Hospital, due to poverty, lack of transport or poor infrastructure. Consequently, they lack sufficient maternal control and are sometimes at risk during child birth. That explains the relatively high Maternal Mortality rate in Sierra Leone.
The MOP interventions to the villages are focussed on:
- running antenatal ultrasound scanning, making timely diagnoses and early referral of high-risk pregnancies to Masanga Hospital
- conveying crucial messages about when to seek medical care and providing general recommendations on hygiene, nutrition and health related behavior.
This kind of interventions can only be successful if they are executed in conjunction with ‘Maternal Agents’. These local trained people speak the language, gain trust with men and women and can better advocate for maternal control and safer pregnancies.
Sierra Leone is one of the world’s least developed countries and has a Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) of 1120 per 100.000 live births. The MMR may be reduced by simple, low-cost interventions to hard-to-reach areas, focusing on diagnostics of pregnant women as well as early referral of high risk preganancies.
When Masanga Hospital was intended to restart an outreach program, specially aimed at giving maternal health services to pregnant women, WNF stepped in. It has access to an experienced workforce of health care workers (the sponsored students in the advanced trainings) who, after a short course in ultrasound scanning, are capable to function in the interventions.
And the students themselves may gain a wealth of work experience in rendering obstetrics services in the field.
In order to assess the effects of the antenatal ultrasound scanning and examen the cost effectiveness of the interventions an evidence based research will be conducted on the data collected during the interventions.
The Research will be carried out by internal and thesis students and co-supervised by a Medical Doctor of the Global Health, Public Health and Medicine department of the University of Copenhagen (Denmark). The study will be guided under the responsibility of a professor of the University of Trondheim (Norway). It is the hope that Sierra Leonean students can be included in the reserch as well.
This will hopefully ensure that future intervention attempts are meaningful and capable of improving lives for families in rural Sierra Leone.