Zambia—More Mobilising Access to Maternal Health Services

Client: Comic Relief

Duration: 2014-2016

Region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Country: Zambia

Solutions: Global Health

The award-winning More Mobilising Access to Maternal Health Services in Zambia (MORE MAMaZ) programme empowered rural communities to address the household and community-level barriers preventing women and girls from accessing maternal and newborn health services.

The programme achieved transformational change for women and girls, particularly those who are under-supported at household and community level, through a community engagement approach.

Rural communities were empowered to increase maternal newborn health awareness, address access and affordability barriers, and tackle underlying social problems that contribute to negative health outcomes, such as gender-based violence. The approach strengthened existing structures, namely community-based Safe Motherhood Action Groups (SMAGs). Complementary, targeted supply-side inputs were provided.

Building on the successes of the predecessor programme, Moblising Access to Maternal Health Services, MORE MAMaZ increased the population coverage of community engagement activities to between 61 percent and 94 percent over the programme’s lifetime. A national scale-up component supported the roll-out of the MORE MAMaZ approach to a further 15 districts.

The programme was implemented in support of the Comic Relief Maanda Initiative theme of improved health for women aged 15-49 and children under 5. The programme was implemented by Transaid, DAI Global Health, Development Data, and Disacare in partnership with the Ministry of Health and District Health Teams.

Sample Activities

  • Increase population coverage from first programme.
  • Build the capacity of District Health Management Teams so they can focus on building a secure, long-term institutional home for demand-side health-related issues.
  • Increase the evidence base at the national level about effective ways to intervene at the community level in support of improved access to maternal and newborn health services.

Select Results

  • Increased skilled birth attendance rates from 46 percent to 78 percent.
  • Increased the number of women attending antenatal care visits in their first trimester from 37 percent to 62 percent.
  • Increased the use of modern family planning methods from 24 percent to 38 percent.
  • Undertook 82,000 door-to-door visits to the homes of pregnant and newly delivered women by trained volunteers.
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