Health for mothers and children
Since 2000 Hilfswerk Austria International has been working with the most vulnerable communities in Sofala province towards improving their lives with better health. The COMUSANAS programme, which is based in one of the most disadvantaged provinces of Mozambique, began in 2004 in initially three pilot districts and was then expanded to another two districts. In this fourth phase, we are expanding our health program in the province of Sofala to the districts of Caia, Maringue, Marromeu and Muanza.
Suffering from malaria and diarrhoea often equals a death sentence for the most vulnerable segments of Mozambican society, who are all too often women and small children. They often lack just the most basic knowledge on how to prevent and treat ailments such as malaria, diarrhoea or simply head colds and cough.
When we started our activities, we decided to take a gradual approach in order to really understand the local socio-cultural context. We started with small measures like the distribution of health medication and supplies and gradually gained the local people’s trust and confidence. Today, more than 16 years later, our humble beginnings turned into a large-scale health programme that has now come to be a community-based health model for the whole provincial government of Sofala!
- Reduction of maternal and child mortality by up to 40%
- Cooperation between the population and the health system is strengthened in order to improve the living conditions in the province of Sofala
- 100% of the population in the project region is informed about the preventive measures against maternal and child mortality
- The professional knowledge of children's health is increased by 80%
- Construction of 10 birth houses and health centers for mothers
- Equipment of existing centers with medical equipment
- Introduction of a transport system for especially pregnant women to the health centers
- Awareness raising and training of medical staff
- Exchange of experience between the villages
- Distribution of health kits for births
- 393.300 women and children in Sofala district
- 95 Public health workers (nurses, midwives and medical doctors)
Together with all those involved, this project by Hilfswerk Austria International has even succeeded in reducing maternal and child mortality by 80%!