Mother and Child Health

In Africa, one out of 210 mothers dies during pregnancy or delivery. One of the causes is the relatively low rate of institutional deliveries, due to transport problems and lack of infrastructure, but also due to cultural prejudices and resistance against giving birth outside the family circle. One of the ways to facilitate and encourage institutional deliveries is the establishment of ‘maternity shelters’ or ‘maternity waiting homes’ (‘casas de espera’ in Portuguese): facilities where future mothers can spend the last few days of their pregnancy close to a maternity hospital, so that they are assured of timely professional care during the delivery. This type of facilities exists in many African countries, but often the functioning is not optimal and the occupancy rate is much lower than it could be. ICRH launched a project in Kenya and in Mozambique, aimed at promoting the use of maternity waiting homes and improving their functioning.

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General objective
The main objective is to improve maternal and newborn health by raising the level of motivation of health care workers to provide high quality maternal and newborn care.

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The main objective is to improve maternal and newborn health through a focus on the postpartum period, adopting context-specific strategies to strengthen health care delivery and services at both facility and community level in four sub-Saharan countries (Burkina Faso, Kenya, Malawi and Mozambique).

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The project called ‘Support for Integrated Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition Services in Tete Province, Mozambique’ is funded by UNICEF, and implemented by ICRH Mozambique in collaboration with the Provincial Health Department in Tete Province, Mozambique. The overall objective of the project is to improve the provision of quality integrated maternal and child health and nutrition services in the province.

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In the context of the University Development Cooperation, the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM), Mozambique, was selected as a partner institution of the VLIR-UDC-programme ‘Institutional University Cooperation’. The implementation of the Partner Programme with UEM (2008-2013) is coordinated by professor Marleen Temmerman. The programme is being implemented inter-university and has as central theme ‘Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS’. It comprises, in this first phase, 8 projects. Five projects address a sub-theme of the central theme and 3 projects will strengthen capacity in specific areas.

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Main objective:
•to strenghten the capacity of two clinical research sites in Africa

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Main objective:
•to optimize the use of ARV drugs during the antepartum, intrapartum and postpartum periods to prevent MTCT of HIV and preserve the health of the mother in settings where the majority of HIV-infected women breastfeed

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OBJECTIVES
•This study aims to describe the sexual and reproductive health of pregnant and postpartum women with HIV and investigate determinants of sexual and reproductive health in these women. Specifically, the study is designed to determine the effects of family planning counselling and contraceptive methods; length of postpartum abstinence; uptake of postpartum care; disclosure of HIV status; sexual violence; patterns of alcohol use; and infant feeding practices on the sexual and reproductive health of women in the year following childbirh.

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General objective
•To strengthen and improve the performance of health care system in rural China in order to improve maternal and child health.

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The project aims to assess violence related factors that may influence pregnant women’s fear of childbirth and how this affects the mode of delivery, in order to improve antenatal care and maternity services.

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