On February 19 and 20, 2017, Mama na Mtoto welcomed Dr. Jean Chamberlain Froese, founder of partner Save the Mothers, to visit three health facilities in Mwawile, Nyamayinza, and Mbarika of Misungwi District.
Save the Mothers is known for their Mother Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, in which health facility administrators and staff are trained to assess, recommend, and implement changes to improve maternal and newborn services. Dr. Chamberlain Froese’s visit provided insight and mentorship, encouraging health facilities and local communities to strive to be ‘mother-baby friendly’, accessible, and welcoming to expecting mothers and newborns.
During visits, health facilities were evaluated for their progress towards specific program targets such as privacy, respectful care, comfort for women and men, and community involvement. Dr. Chamberlain Froese and the Mama na Mtoto team were excited to see the positive improvement at all three facilities. The visit also included meeting members of the surrounding communities to understand the impact of the health facility recommendations and to gather feedback. Community health worker volunteers and health facility staff discussed their experiences, including those of the increasing number of women who are now comfortable seeking these health facilities to give birth.
The next Mother Baby Friendly Hospital assessment will happen in 6 months.