Can community participation lead to better maternal health outcomes in Uganda? A review of evaluated programs

Sarah M. Wablembo, Save the Children
Paul Omondi Ochola, Kenya Methodist University

Many efforts have been put into improving maternal and child health in Africa, although many countries have still failed to meet their targets for the Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5. Innovative policies and strategies are in place in Uganda and some milestones have been reached; reduction in maternal mortality from 506 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1995 to 438 in 2011 and child mortality from 147 deaths per 1000 livebirths in 1995 to 90 deaths in 2011. An exploration of evaluated programs worldwide that used community participation strategies to improve maternal and child health show a significant improvement in indicators; specifically empowerment of communities and allowing full participation of community members in health care contributes to commitment by institutions and ownership of programs by communities. Supporting health systems including longer term funding for community based programs will also lead to better health outcomes for women and children in poor resource settings.

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Presented in Poster Session 4