Global Health experts agree that a community's health begins with effective reproductive and child health services. To be successful, these services must be fully utilized by women, men and children, preferably as a family unit. At Mwandi hospital in western Zambia, a new reproductive health center will triple patient capacity, provide greater privacy and safety, and create a space for nutritional counseling and health education, thus improving antenatal and childhood health in Mwandi district.
Conditions in the hospital's current 60m2 Maternal & Child Health facility (MCH) limit access to mother and child health services and deter male involvement. Overcrowding, poor ventilation, lack of privacy, and long wait times discourage MCH use. Comparing patient use of MCH with village census data indicates that Mwandi residents are underutilizing MCH services. Limited use of antenatal and under-5 health services contributes to adverse birth outcomes, stunted growth, and childhood mortality.
A 160m2 reproductive health center will provide safer, faster and more effective patient care. A waiting area with seating and bathrooms will accommodate more patients and allow faster check-ins. Private exam rooms will safeguard patient confidentiality for all patients, especially those who are HIV+. Informative health education programs for groups (e.g. child nutrition) will occur in a covered area, eliminating many daily program repetitions and freeing staff to spend more time with patients.
By broadening access to care and education, the reproductive health center will: reduce infant mortality, decrease pregnancy complications and adolescent pregnancies; increase male involvement in antenatal and childcare; empower families to decide on the number and spacing of children; and reduce stunted growth and childhood mortality. Patient usage and health outcomes will be monitored by the center in order to track its progress toward achieving these health goals for the Mwandi community.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).