Mama na Mtoto

Mama na Mtoto (MnM) - ‘mother and child’ in Swahili, is an initiative between Tanzanian, Ugandan and Canadian partners that aimed to improve maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) and reduce mortality in the Lake Zone area of Tanzania by working with local health authorities to strengthen local health systems. 

Partners developed, implemented and evaluated a package of interventions designed to strengthen existing government systems in the districts of Misungwi and Kwimba. Together, they worked to build the capacity of districts and health facilities to provide quality MNCH services, including antenatal care, delivery, and postnatal care. Mama na Mtoto also promoted healthy practices and increased use of MNCH services by mobilizing district-led networks of community health worker (CHW) volunteers.

 

"We have seen increased number of clients coming to our health facilities … yes … mothers under 12 weeks … the existence of CHWs has contributed to the increase in the number of clients visiting the facilities."

– Community Health Worker (CHW)

 

INTERVENTION

SOPETAR

MnM activities included meetings, equipment provision, facility upgrades, training, mentorship, and technical assistance. Led by districts, activities were delivered in a specific sequence of purposeful steps: SCAN, ORIENT, PLAN, EQUIP, TRAIN, ACT, and REFLECT (SOPETAR). This process was designed to promote quality implementation by incorporating partner experiences, recognized best practices, and district priorities.

Simulation

Health workers refreshed their basic emergency obstetric and newborn care (BEmONC) skills in hands-on, simulation-based clinical workshops and received training and mentorship on data use and management. District health managers and facility supervisors participated in leadership training and oversaw facility-based improvements and action planning initiatives.

Community Health Workers (CHW)

Training, supervision and mentorship encouraged strong networks of volunteer CHWs. These volunteers conducted educational home visits, assessed and referred pregnant women and newborns, and promoted health innovation and income-generating activities amongst their own groups and communities.

 

“I, together with my fellow health providers, have saved the life of newborns to a huge extent ...We have helped 15 babies to breathe in the last month… Without the skills we got from Mama na Mtoto, we might have lost some of them. But all 15 ... they survived.”

– Health Worker, Lake Zone, Tanzania

 

HBB skills training

Key Contacts:

Dr. Dismas Matovelo (Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences)

Dr. Jenn Brenner (University of Calgary)

Funding

Mama na Mtoto was supported through several research and project grants. Initiative activities were undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through Global Affairs Canada (GAC).

Research was funded through an Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa grant, co-funded by Global Affairs Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and Canada’s International Development Research Centre.

GAC logo
IDRC
CIHR logo

Successes 

  • Improved maternal and child health services at health facilities
  • Increased health service use by women during pregnancy and delivery
  • Established active, district-wide network of over 1,500 community health workers (CHW)
  • Provided significant Canadian engagement opportunities in global health issues, including internships and an active global health youth champion network

 

Achievements 

  • Implementation in 2 districts 
  • Full MNCH (Mama Toto) program scale up in 2 districts; projects in 4 districts 
  • 1,664 CHWs trained 
  • 17% increase in the number of women who delivered at a health facility
  • 8% increase in the number of women who received post natal care 
  • CHW retention – 94% at 2 years 
  • Major infrastructure upgrade to 4 health facilities
  • 107 rural health facilities equipped 
  • 479 health care workers trained 

 

Community health worker volunteer training

Community health worker volunteer training

Helping babies breath training

Helping babies breath training