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Projects

We join a Maternal Outreach Program (MOP) to provide maternal health services and information to pregnant women in remote areas in Sierra Leone. 

Outreach Program

Masanga hospital has developed a new service, called Maternal Outreach Program (MOP). The purpose of this program is to improve maternal health care in remote areas in Tonkolili district, by bringing the hospital service to the people and giving them accessibility to medical services on a local scale.

The MOP project focusses on pregnant women in rural areas that often face multiple barriers in reaching hospitals, due to poverty, lack of transport or poor infrastructure. These women get access to maternal health care through interventions of especially equipped ambulances aimed at:

  • running antenatal ultrasound scanning, making timely diagnoses and organizing referrals of high-risk pregnancies to the nearest hospitals.
  • conveying crucial messages about when to seek medical care and providing general recommendations on hygiene, nutrition and health related behavior.

Backgrounds

Sierra Leone is one of the world’s least developed countries and has a Maternal Mortality Rate of 1120 per 100.000 live births. The maternal mortality rate can be reduced by simple low-cost interventions to hard-to-reach areas, focusing on diagnostics of pregnant women as well as early referral and institutional childbirth of high risk preganancies.

WNSF has the opportunity to provide an experienced workforce of clinical health officers (who follow the advanced trainings) to participate outreach programs, such as MOP.

This kind of visits to local communities can only be successful if they are carefully prepared. In order to gain people’s trust and to be able to provide medical services to pregnant women, the MOP staff is working together with ‘Maternity Agents’ who are previously trained and operate from Peripheral Health Units (PHU’s) in the villages. They can better advocate men and women for family planning, safer pregnancies and deliveries.

Fit with WNSF

The interventions will be carried out by Maternal Health Officers, who are partially recruited out of our sponsored students.

As training of these students is at the center of the WNSF mission, this kind of rendering obstetrics services in the field offers a good work experience to the students. They learn more about obstetrics and become aware of the specific challenges of rural health care.

An additional motivation for WNSF to participate in this program is the conviction that this kind of rural health care will ultimately lead to improve economics in the communities and indirectly support their prosperity.