Regional MNCH Strengthening Project
The Mama na Mtoto Project (2016- 2020) is funded by Global Affairs Canada. Mama na Mtoto is implemented by a coalition of partners, districts, regional and national governments. Partners include: Agriteam Canada, The Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences, The University of Calgary, the Canadian Paediatric Society, Save the Mothers, and Mbarara University of Science and Technology.
This initiative targets a total population of nearly 1 million people, including 200 000 newborns, children under five years of age and pregnant women. By the end of the project, 350 000 health workers, community health volunteers, and the community members they educate and serve will have improved capacity to promote and protect the health of current and future mothers and children.
These include: (a) providing technical assistance to regional and local level health management teams and health service providers on improved planning and delivery of health services; (b) equipping and supplying health facilities needed to deliver key MNCH services; (c) working with key health system, local government and community leaders and committees to improve MNCH, including the promotion of equal involvement of women and men in seeking health care; and, (d) training health providers and community health volunteers (CHVs) on delivering high quality MNCH services; and (e) informing and engaging the Canadian public on key MNCH issues through mass media campaigns, speaking events, and/or site tours.
The capacity development approach for the project’s implementation is based on the SOPETAR action cycle (Scan-Orient-Plan-Equip-Train-Action-Reflect). The Scan step involves a high-level assessment of the local situations including identification of available resources, partners, stakeholders, vulnerable groups, and opportunities. In the Orient step, project stakeholders and champions are oriented to the MnM implementation approach. Orientation occurs in a cascade manner, for example with Technical Teams orienting regional/district leaders, district CHMT leaders orienting their staff, CHMT members orienting facility in-charges, in-charges orienting their staff and community leaders, and community leaders orienting community members. The next step is the Plan stage, which involves technical assistance to support key stakeholders to formulate detailed MNCH-focused action plans integrated within existing RHMT, CHMT, and facility planning cycles. Prior to training, in the Equip stage, essential equipment is secured which can be used during training and subsequently to allow new knowledge and skills to be applied. During the Train stage, targeted training is provided, aligned with national training guidelines. Training will use a cascade approach so that core teams of trainers are developed at the district and regional levels through training of trainers. Trainings will include a combination of full-course and refresher trainings, depending on logistics and needs prioritized by CHMTs and baseline findings. The next critical step is the Act stage, in which partners at all levels put their plans into action, with the benefit of the equipment and training provided by the project. Ongoing mentoring support is provided to district and health facility staff as they put in place their plans to improve HMIS, MPDSR, supportive supervision, quality improvement processes, inter-facility transfer and referral, health facility management, and quality of clinical MNCH services. Finally, during the Reflect stage, experiences and progress are reviewed to identify successes, learn lessons and move forward with a new SOPETAR cycle. The table below shows the implementation plan and approximate timeframes for each of the two districts, based on the SOPETAR cycle.