Rural communities in Zambia face enormous challenges in terms of access to maternal and newborn health (MNH) care. Only ﬁve in ten rural births are attended to by a skilled provider, compared to almost nine in ten urban births – a striking rural-urban divide.
The More Mobilising Access to Maternal Health Services in Zambia programme (MORE MAMaZ) programme worked with the Zambian government to scale up a community-based intervention that addressed MNH barriers and delays originating at household and community levels. The programme strengthened and broadened the focus of the national Safe Motherhood Action Group (SMAG) initiative, a key part of the government’s safe motherhood policy response. An empowerment approach mobilised communities around a MNH agenda and built local capacity to take action. The results from MORE MAMaZ provide robust evidence of the effectiveness of the approach.