Women's, Children's, and Adolescents' Health: Our Impact

{The daughter of a community health volunteer with her newborn.} Photo Credit: Sara Holtz/MSHThe daughter of a community health volunteer with her newborn.

   John Yanulis is program director of the USAID Mikolo project, which is reducing maternal, infant and child morbidity and mortality across nine regions in Madagascar. Funded in 2013, the project provides increased access to and improved quality of community-based primary health care services. Through community health volunteers trained in reproductive health and family planning, the project has reached more than 108,000 women who were not previously using family planning methods, and provided over 83,000 couple years protection.

{Photo credit: Fanja Saholiarisoa/MSH}Photo credit: Fanja Saholiarisoa/MSH

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) Mikolo Project is a five-year project led by Management Sciences for Health (MSH) focused on reducing maternal, infant, and child mortality in some of Madagascar’s hardest to reach communities by increasing access to community-based primary health care services and encouraging women of reproductive age to adopt healthy behaviors for themselves and their children. One of Mikolo’s key efforts is to offer Malagasy women the option to use modern contraceptive methods. 

No one wanted to miss this day.

{Photo credit: MSH}USAID Mikolo recently recognized 10 community health volunteers for completing their training in the use of pregnancy test kits.Photo credit: MSH

4,000 Madagascar Community Health Volunteers Learning to Use Pregnancy Test Kits Although more married women in Madagascar are using modern contraceptives than ever before, their use among this group has stabilized at about 30 percent. In response, the USAID Mikolo Project is training 4,000 community health volunteers (CHVs) how to use pregnancy test kits—a pioneering strategy to help expand family planning in remote areas.

 {Photo: Jawad Jalali/Afghan Eyes}Safiullah Sadiq, community health worker and member of the village health council, was interviewed by the LMG-Afghanistan Project in April 2015.Photo: Jawad Jalali/Afghan Eyes

Safiullah Sadiq, a community health worker from the Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, is one of 14 residents who sits on his village’s health shura. (Shuras are councils that engage local leaders, health care providers, and other community members to improve the community’s health.) Sadiq’s village had identified that low utilization of health services was something that they wanted to address. But, the shura hadn’t understood how it could intervene.

 {Photo credit: MSH}Charlotte Abroman, midwife, Kongoti Center for Rural Health, Daoukro.Photo credit: MSH

Leadership Development Program Plus (LDP+) leads to dramatic rise in antenatal care visits “I was both aware of the challenges that existed and frustrated at not being able to meet them,” said Charlotte Abroman, midwife at the Kongoti Center for Rural Health, discussing low antenatal clinic visit rates. In Côte d’Ivoire as a whole, 70 percent of pregnant women attend all four ANC visits, but in Abroman’s area of Kongoti, only 11 percent made all the visits. In the health district of Daoukro, which includes Kongoti and other towns, the rate was 24 percent.

 {Photo credit: Fanja Saholiarisoa/MSH}Community health worker, Celestine Razanabao, receiving a couple for family planning counselling in Manandriana village, Madagascar.Photo credit: Fanja Saholiarisoa/MSH

Although the remote village of Manandriana in southern Madagascar is six kilometers from the nearest health center, the local population’s health has improved in recent years because of community volunteers like 50-year-old Celestine Razanabao.  

 {Photo credit: Overseas Strategic Consulting, Ltd.}A community health worker facilitates an educational session on family planning methods.Photo credit: Overseas Strategic Consulting, Ltd.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) ranks among the top 20 countries with the highest death rates of mothers and children, often due to health complications resulting from poor family planning and lack of birth spacing. In the Kole health zone, the US Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded DRC Integrated Health Project (DRC-IHP) is addressing this challenge through the grassroots Champion Community approach.

{Photo credit: Mark Tuschman}Photo credit: Mark Tuschman

Malnutrition is an underlying cause of 45 percent of deaths in children under the age of five worldwide and leaves 165 million children stunted, compromising cognitive development and physical capabilities. Chronically malnourished children are, on average, nearly 20 percent less literate than those who have a nutritious diet. Thus, malnutrition can shape a society's long-term health, stability, and prosperity.

 {Photo credit: MSH}Rasoanirina leading a meeting in her village.Photo credit: MSH

Solange Helene Rasoanirina is an active and motivated member of her community. Along with community health volunteers, the 24-year-old has become a reference for health in Masiakakoho, a remote village in southeastern Madagascar’s Tataho commune in Manakara II district.