In Focus: Saving Mothers' Lives in Zambia

In this photo from 2014, a "change champion" in Zambia discusses how to ensure a safe pregnancy and delivery with mothers. USAID's Communications Support for Health (CSH) project engaged 350 chiefs and headmen through its change champion approach within its successful Mothers Alive campaign, which was designed to increase demand for and uptake of facility-based maternal health services to prevent deaths and complications related to pregnancy and birth.

As part of the campaign, these traditional and local political leaders were trained in CSH’s behavior-centered communications approach through intensive week-long workshops held in their district capitals. CSH then worked with them to facilitate community discussions about sensitive issues like pregnancy care planning, male involvement, and family planning. Supplementing these discussions were diverse communications products, including more than 2 million picture-based pregnancy care planners that reminded women of key steps to take each month during pregnancy.

As a key part of USAID's Saving Mothers Giving Life, a broader initiative to increase the quality, availability, and use of maternal health services in Zambia, the Mothers Alive campaign played a direct role in decreasing maternal mortality by 35 percent in the targeted districts.

Zambia CSH assisted the government of Zambia with addressing health-related issues such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, and family planning through effective health communications activities that emphasized behavior and social change.

Posted in: Health
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