High maternal and neonatal mortality rates plague women throughout Mozambique. So many of these deaths could be prevented if there was greater access to health care for women and children. The Mozambique Ministry of Health cites three main delays as the primary causes for maternal and neonatal mortality:
- delays in seeking antenatal care,
- delays in getting to a clinic or hospital for delivery, and
- delays in getting treatment at the health facility.
To help address these issues, The United Methodist Church’s Mozambique Episcopal Area Health Board is happy to be among the first sites to pilot our new Maternal and Child Health project. They have recently been awarded a grant to focus on pregnant women and children under two in marginalized and underserved communities. Core activities will include encouraging women to use antenatal care services, providing services for safe births at the Cambine Clinic, promoting breastfeeding and nutrition of babies, and encouraging early treatment, as well as prevention for priority childhood illnesses (including diarrhea, pneumonia, malaria, and HIV). The United Methodist Mission Clinic in Cambine will be the site of this pilot project. The project will provide services for 13 villages around the health facility with a population of about 16,250 people, including an estimated 3,250 women of child-bearing age and 813 pregnant women.