A training approach for community maternal health volunteers that builds sustainable capacity

Authors: Cathy Green, Miniratu Soyoola, Mary Surridge, and Dynes Kaluba
Journal Title: Development in Practice
Journal Reference: 24(8): 948-959
Document Type: Journal articles
Publication Date: 2014

This article examines a training approach for community health volunteers which increased access to maternal health services in rural communities in Zambia. The effectiveness of the training approach was evaluated in an operations research component. Skilled birth attendance rates increased by 63% from baseline over a two-year period in the intervention districts, out-performing increases recorded in control sites at statistically significant levels. As a low-cost, high-impact intervention which shows good sustainability potential, the approach is suitable for national level scale-up and for adaptation for use in other countries in support of maternal and new-born health goals.

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Tags: Zambia, Community health services, Maternal health services, Maternal newborn services, Community health workers, Training, Civil society, Participation, Social sector, Health, Aid, Capacity development, Sub-Saharan Africa, Health policy, Community-led systems, MAMaZ,