Since our last update in July 2012, this project has grown and is now being scaled up to cover all women in Zanzibar. A total of 938 women have given birth in the program since November 2011 and the rate of births in a health facility remains steady at at 71% (compared to just 33.6% when we began just over a year ago).
We have also been fortunate to receive world-wide recognition for the innovation and success of the project including an award for best cell phone app in health. In addition, we received a significant Phase II grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to reach more women and families. As a result, we have boosted project staff and are discussing how the approach can be used beyond Zanzibar including other parts of Africa and in India. As part of this effort, we have written a paper on the project and plan to have it published in a medical journal to further disseminate the results.
In addition to helping almost 1000 women have safer deliveries, we have learned a lot about what elements of the project have led to its success. These include:
The success of this project has gained global attention and we have been successful in raising additional sources of funding to expand. But it was the start we got through smaller donations that enabled us to demonstrate the value of this approach. For this we are very grateful to each of you for your support.
Since our last update in April 2012, we have helped hundreds of additional mothers safely give birth. A total of 629 women registered have had healthy babies since the beginning of the program in November 2011. A striking 70% of these births have taken place at a health facility under skilled care rather than at home. Health facilities and hospitals in the project areas saw their in-facility delivery rates more than double on average.
With your help, we are over half way to our $10,000 fundraising goal! THANK YOU. It is not too late to contribute to the project again or to consider making a recurring monthly gift. We can also use your help spreading the word about this amazing project and the families it serves. Please consider forwarding the site to your friends and family.
The success of this project has gained global attention and we are in the process of seeking additional sources of funding to expand so we can serve thousands of other women who might otherwise end up giving birth under risky conditions at home.
Stories from the field
On a recent trip to Pemba Island to visit one of the project districts, we heard many requests to continue the project from all levels of participants including the government all the way down to the community health workers and the pregnant mothers we are targeting.
As one of the project’s trained traditional birth attendants stated:
“Women are aware [of the risks] and are worried about giving birth at home, but they don’t have money to go to the facility. Some try to walk or go by cart if it’s daytime, but if it’s night they just deliver at home.”
The following cases are from mothers who benefited from this project during the last 3 months. They have become advocates for facility deliveries and wanted to personally say thank you for the support:
Thank you from the women of Pemba and Unguja for your interest and continued support to this project. Your donation allows us to keep this project running and to support the traditional birth attendants, who work to ensure that motherhood can be safe for women in Zanzibar.
I want to thank the many supporters who have contributed to our web campaign on GlobalGiving. I thought you might be interested in the preliminary results from this project which we have just put together. For those of you who have already contributed, THANK YOU. For those of you who have not yet contributed, the deadline for this campaign is April 30, and your contribution will help continue the work outlined below.
With support from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, D-tree International successfully implemented a pilot project in Zanzibar Tanzania to achieve safer deliveries. The project was begun in November 2011 and uses an open source mobile health (mHealth) application to reduce the informational, logistical, and financial barriers to in-facility births and post-partum care. The project has trained 24 Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA) from the pilot areas of North A District and Micheweni District in the use of the mHealth application. The TBAs successfully registered 682 pregnant mothers, of which 211 delivered during this period. Between November 2011 and April 2012, health facilities and hospitals in the project areas saw their in-facility delivery rates more than double on average. Additionally, there were no maternal deaths recorded among the registered mothers.
For information on preliminary results and the stories of 2 mothers benefiting from this project, please read the attached document.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
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