The role of the community in improving maternal newborn and child health
Abstract1. In Africa, most of the causes of maternal, newborn and under-five deaths can be prevented with the existing cost-effective interventions. However, ensuring universal access and utilization of the key interventions remains a challenge. Mothers and children continue to die due to the triple delays in seeking appropriate care, reaching the health facility and receiving the appropriate management at the facility. 2. Lessons from maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) services show that community empowerment, participation and ownership of locally-based interventions are essential for increasing utilization and access to services. This calls for the involvement of the community in the planning, implementation and monitoring of community-based health services. 3. Cognizant of the need to improve access to MNCH services, the WHO Regional Committee for Africa organized a round table on safe motherhood and improving access to emergency obstetric care for its fifty-third session in August 2003, in Johannesburg, South Africa. Participants noted the importance of linkages between communities and health facilities to improve access to MNCH. This was also underscored at the joint International Conference on Community Health held in October 2006 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Regional Committee for Africa, 57. (2011). The role of the community in improving maternal newborn and child health. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/1815