A dissemination event for the MORE Mobilising Access to Maternal Health Services in Zambia (MORE MAMaZ) took place in Lusaka, Zambia on 8th September.
The event was well received with a large turnout (approximately 150 people) and included senior officials from the Ministry of Health, Provincial Health Offices, and District Health Management Teams, a wide range of development partners, and community volunteers and beneficiaries of the programme.
The District Medical Officers from the programme’s five core intervention districts talked about the strength of the partnership between the districts and the programme, and about the steps they have taken to institutionalise key activities and processes.
Alongside presentations and question and answer sessions, participants were encouraged to circulate to three ‘technical corners’. These provided an opportunity to learn about specific elements of the programme. One corner focused on community-based emergency transport systems. Bicycle ambulance riders demonstrated lifting techniques, how to use the ambulance’s canopy and stretcher, and shared other aspects of their work. The second technical corner focused on Community Monitoring Systems. This showcased a large number of data-related handouts (district results, results infographics and CMS evidence brief) and there were lively Q&A sessions. The third corner focused on the work of community health volunteers (Safe Motherhood Action Group volunteers and emergency transport scheme riders). Accompanied by drummers, volunteers performed a maternal danger signs song, based on the use of communication body tools. Participants were able to ask questions about the work of the volunteers, their training, what motivates them, retention rates and so on. They were able to access evidence briefs on gender-based violence and social inclusion.
The results achieved by MORE MAMaZ, which include a 32% increase in skilled birth attendance rates, the training of an additional 3,000 Safe Motherhood Action Group (SMAGs) and ETS riders for Zambia, and over 4,000 women being transported to a health facility by community emergency transport systems, indicate that this was a very successful programme. The evidence generated by MORE MAMaZ will help to inform the current work, led by the MOH, on the development of a Community Health Strategy for Zambia.
Please explore the MORE MAMaZ end of programme materials here:
The project was implemented in support of the Comic Relief Maanda Initiative theme of improved health for women aged 15-49 and children under five. The programme was implemented by Transaid, Health Partners International, Development Data and Disacare in partnership with the Ministry of Health and District Health Teams.