Simple interventions can help us prevent the needless deaths of mothers and babies in Sierra Leone–and permanently bring down the rate of maternal and child mortality.
Why we care: In Sierra Leone, one in seven women dies as a result of pregnancy or childbirth-related complications and one in every four children dies before his or her fifth birthday.
How we’re solving it: By improving the skills of 600 community health workers in Sierra Leone so they can bring safe birth practices to their communities and identify complications in pregnancy before it’s too late.
Every dollar donated to this project is matched (1:1) by a generous BRAC USA donor.
This project will combine a network of trained community health promoters with locally hired staff to improve access to maternal health care across Sierra Leone. As a result, BRAC seeks to increase the number of births attended by skilled health personnel, the use of contraceptives, prenatal care and exclusive breastfeeding rates.
BRAC has trained almost 100,000 women as community health promoters in Bangladesh, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. Training includes an initial 10- to 18-day intensive course, plus mandatory one- or two-day monthly refresher sessions for as long as promoters choose to remain part of the program.
Rather than a regular salary, an incentive-based pay system has been built for the community health promoters trained as part of this project to ensure earliest possible identification and registration of pregnancies and related complications.
Using this combination of community health promoters supported by a small group of locally-hired staff, BRAC achieves real value for money for community-based maternal healthcare at $23 per covered household per year, and expects to reach 142,800 women and adolescent girls and 108,000 children under-five in eight districts in Sierra Leone.
Thanks to this approach, BRAC has been credited with playing a major role in improving maternal health in Bangladesh from 800 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 1990 to just 194 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 2010.
Through Catapult, your support will help BRAC provide initial training and one year of monthly refresher training sessions for 600 community health promoters specializing in maternal healthcare in Sierra Leone.