A research dissemination workshop on Community Based Maternal and Child Health Project implementation outcomes deliberated on December 7, 2017 at EGST.
Organized in collaboration with the Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church Development Commission (EKHCDC) and government sector offices from Nifas Silk Lafto Sub city woreda 2, 4, and 5, the discussion involved a total of more than 55 government officials, experts, Health Extension Workers (HEW), Mentor Mothers (MMs) and staff from EKHCDC and EGST.
Three research papers and government terminal evaluation report related to the project implementation were presented by EGST graduates and discussed by the participants. The papers include an “Assessment of the Mentor Mother Home Based Maternal and Child Health Care Model and the Ethiopian Health Extension Program: The Case of Community Outreach Program” by Tigist Takle, “Halftime Evaluation of the Mentor Mother Program in Ethiopia – Focus on Women’s Health” by My Andréasson, Gothenburg University (delivered by Wosene Brehanu), and “Assessment of Knowledge and Practice on Danger Signs of Pregnancy, Complication Readiness and Birth Preparedness Among Beneficiary Women in EGST Community Outreach Project” by Mahlet Zereay (presented by Sehani Bekele).
The three research outputs demonstrated the positive contributions of the Mentor Mother Model (Mothers Support Group) implementation in Addis Ababa and Holeta in improving maternal and child health outcomes. Government terminal evaluation report further indicated the achievements of the project and called to address issues of sustainability in terms of feasibility study, community participation, economic empowerment of mothers, and supporting the roles of health extension workers and women development army.
Participants received the research papers with appreciation as a point of learning converging academia with community engagement and commended its usefulness as an input for future planning.
Aimed at illustrating the project impact in the health of mothers and children and sharing of lessons learned from the field experience for different stakeholders, the workshop contributed to increase stakeholders’ experiences in community based maternal and child health interventions. Government officials called for the continuity of such forums as examples of academia partnering with community engagement.
The Community Based Maternal and Child Health Project is an intervention began by EGST in 2012 as a pilot in district 4 of Nifas Silk Lafto Sub City and Holeta Town Administration and later extended to 2017. The project is implemented in partnership with EECMY DASSC CES BO, EKHCDC, Government sector offices from Bureau of Finance and Economic Development, Addis Ababa and Oromia Health Bureaus, and Women and Children’s Affairs, and is funded by the Church of Sweden and Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).
It was recalled that the maternal mortality rate in Ethiopia has reduced from 420 deaths out of 100,000 live births in 2011 to 412/100,000 in 2016 as indicated in EDHS reports.