C3 IN ACTION
Reducing Home Deliveries (RHODE) – A project partnership of Birchenough Bridge Hospital and Rujeko Home Based Care Programme
In Buhera district, Zimbabwe, a third of pregnant women are delivered at home, often with the support of Traditional Birth attendants. HIV+ women remain invisible to health clinics, not accessing the Paediatric mother to child transmission (PMTCT) interventions that can reduce the risk of transmission of HIV to children. The RHODE Project aimed to reduce home deliveries to 25%.
Nineteen traditional Birth Attendants have been trained to become PMTCT champions in the community. They now refer and escort pregnant women to Antenatal Clinics and for clinic-based deliveries and provide education on breastfeeding. Savings and Loan group strategies have been used to enable birth attendants to develop income generating activities. The Ministry of Health have integrated their services. Community leaders and women are more empowered to make informed birth choices.
After just five months there has been an increase in the number of pregnant mothers coming to the ‘Waiting mother’s shelter’ - a maternity waiting home built within easy reach of a hospital or health centre. The shelter makes access to a health facility possible for woman in advanced stages of pregnancy who live too far from health facilities. More babies are being initiated on ART as a result.