As a result of the efforts by Amref’s Uzazi Uzima project, the number of mothers coming to the clinic at Mwasamba Dispensary has increased from 10 to 15 to about 30 to 40 mothers per month.
“These mothers come with their partners and this is an indicator that we have succeeded 100% in emphasizing male involvement in escorting their partners to the dispensaries,” says Octavia.
The various trainings given to health care workers, such as training on Health Management Information Systems, essential newborn care, and emergency obstetric care, built their capacity in raising more awareness in the community about safe motherhood practices. One of the points that health workers emphasize is for mothers to visit clinics and give birth there, instead of their home. Mothers are also advised to come back to the health facility after giving birth for post-natal care.
The health workers also teach family planning methods to community members, which Octavia says has helped clients in child spacing.
“We also provide nutrition education to our patients by encouraging them to breastfeed their newborn for the first six months and later on give them soft food,” he says.
Octavia says that Amref’s Uzazi Uzima project further provided the dispensary with water services, including a water well and water tanks. The process of feeding water in the tanks is aided by use of solar energy to ensure that the dispensary has water all the time.
“Before the project, it was a must that every pregnant woman who came to give birth here must come with a water barrel because there was inadequate amount of water at the centre. This lack of water discouraged many women from delivering at the centre,” Octavia says.
These activities at Mwasamba Dispensary are part of the four-year Uzazi Uzima project, a partnership among Amref Health Africa and Marie Stopes, with Deloitte as a service partner. The Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada, is supporting the project with $10.2 million.
Photo by Adrian Mgaya, Amref Health Africa