With health expenditure among the lowest in the world, Madagascar's limited access to healthcare and knowledge of sexual and reproductive health poses a significant risk to the health of children, young people, and mothers. In Fort Dauphin, misinformation exacerbates poor health outcomes, with low education levels of mothers linked to increased rates of under-five mortality amongst their children. Project Votsira is a two-year project that aims to improve maternal and child health.
Far from the Sustainable Development Goal target (3.1) of reducing maternal mortality to 70 per 100,000 live births, 478 Malagasy mothers out of 100,000 die annually from birth-related complications. Madagascar's lack of qualified healthcare providers restricts mothers and their children from receiving life-saving services. These challenges are amplified in the southeast Anosy region, where 7.3% of children die before age five, one of the highest rates in the country.
Votsira has increased the maternal and child health capacity of caregivers, with average knowledge of child health information, reaching over 93%. This next project phase aims to improve maternal and child health outcomes in southeast Madagascar by improving maternal and child health knowledge, attitudes, and practices of 2,800 caregiver women; improving the capacity of 40 healthcare providers; and increasing collaboration amongst maternal and child health regional and national stakeholders.
SEED will continue to address these challenges, using its previous feedback and evaluations as an opportunity to develop the project further. With your help, Project Votsira Phase IV will build on vital child and maternal health education with the aim of creating sustainable, long-term change against child mortality.