In many countries, maternal and child mortality rates remain high even as other health indicators improve. Fertility rates also remain high due to lack of access to reproductive health and family planning services. Pregnant women and children, a group particularly vulnerable to disease and malnutrition, require specific attention through multifaceted approaches. Chemonics works with governments, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector to increase access to maternal and child health (MCH), reproductive health (RH), and family planning (FP) services.
Strengthening capacity. The Peru Quality Healthcare program works with government to improve the effectiveness of public sector programs targeting poor mothers and young children. The project provides direct technical assistance and training to the ministry and regional directorates to increase knowledge on standards and develop methods to lessen gaps between these standards and practices. The Fostering Optimization of Resources and Technical Excellence for Health project provided technical assistance to the Ministry of Health to address the needs of Mozambique’s women and children. The project focused on sustainability by investing in education through training institutes and study programs.
Working with the private sector. PRISM 2 assists the Philippines Department of Health, the Department of Labor and Employment, and local government units to mobilize private-sector resources in the delivery of FP and MCH services and products. The project is increasing the number of workplaces and accredited private health facilities delivering FP and MCH services, especially long-acting and permanent FP methods. The project is also assisting government to expand private-sector participation in FP and MCH services.
Improving quality of primary health care. The Palestinian Health Sector Reform and Development project focuses on strengthening the priority areas of the health sector, including prenatal and postpartum care, micronutrient supplements, and childhood immunizations. Interventions focus on developing and implementing national standards and guidelines for quality and performance improvements in service delivery, and on increased reliance on nurses and midwives as primary health-care providers.
Improving service delivery. The Essential Health Services Program worked to strengthen maternal and child health services in Angola by engaging health facilities, municipalities, and district health services through targeted training in reproductive health and family planning services. In Bangladesh, the Smiling Sun Franchise Project is creating a franchise system for health clinics run by local NGOs. The project will help franchisee organizations expand the range of health services they can provide, increase service coverage, and maintain quality. All Smiling Sun Franchise clinics provide MCH and RH/FP services.
Increasing coverage. The Madagascar Santénet project used a community mobilization approach to increase prenatal care, vaccination of pregnant women and children, contraceptive coverage, and vitamin supplementation. Santénet also provided technical and financial support to the Ministry of Health to open new FP sites and assist in childhood vaccination. The project helped the ministry strengthen health policies and norms, improve use of data for decision-making, improve pre-service education and in-service training, and implement systems for quality assurance in service delivery.