As part of the ACT-Femmes project, funded by the Government of Canada, a 6-day workshop was hosted to help build the capacity of health workers in 15 health facilities in the Tchologo region of northern Côte d’Ivoire. The Tchologo Women/Adolescent Girls Empowerment Project (ACT-Femmes) is a 5-year initiative that aims to empower and improve the sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and maternal and child health (MCH) of women and adolescent girls in the project area. Through this workshop, ACT-Femmes aims to strengthen the technical and operational capacities of health care providers, epidemic prevention and response, and services in SRH, SMI, nutrition, and mental health to ensure continuity and quality of care at the highest level for all health districts.
Thirty health workers (61% women), including doctors, nurses, and midwives benefited from capacity building on best practices surrounding emergency obstetric and neonatal care (SONU) for the prevention of maternal, infantile and neonatal mortality. Best practices included family planning for the reduction of maternal mortality, integrated management of newborn and child diseases, essential nutrition actions, and the prevention of mother-to-child perinatal transmission.
In Côte d’Ivoire, the maternal mortality ratio is estimated at 645 deaths per 100,000 live births according to WHO (2016). It is rightfully a major cause for concern, around 20 women die every day due to complications related to pregnancy or childbirth. Neonatal mortality is 33 per 1,000 live births (WHO 2016) compared to 23 for Ghana and 20 in Guinea, neighboring countries.
There are many causes of death, but solutions exist to prevent them. Participants were taught simple solutions that could help prevent these deaths including, prenatal consultations that focus on quickly identifying warning signs, family planning, and improving the nutrition of pregnant and breastfeeding women.
The participants were extremely satisfied with the workshop, and the assessments done following the training showed a large increase in knowledge acquired throughout the week. The initiative will continue to supervise how the health workers implement the new practices to verify how effective they are. The project will also continue to support healthcare facilities by helping them increase the number of services they provide including, nutrition, psycho-affective, and exclusive breastfeeding, maternal, and childcare practices. All of these initiatives will be carried out jointly and in support of the health districts to ensure sustainable and efficient support.
The Empowerment of Women/Adolescent Girls in Tchologo Communities project, funded by Global Affairs Canada, aims to promote the empowerment and rights of women and adolescent girls in vulnerable situations in the Tchologo region, in order to enable them to have sustainable access to services that directly address their sexual and reproductive health and mother and child health needs. The five-year project mobilizes women and adolescent girls, particularly through women’s organizations, to strengthen their capacity to advocate with political and traditional authorities for the full exercise of their rights and increased access to quality SRH/MCH services.
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