Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health receives A+ rating from DFID for its 'Making it Happen' programme in South Africa

News article 19 Nov 2015

Foto-Cewek’s Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health () is delighted to have received an A+ rating for its 'Making it Happen' programme* in South Africa. The rating was awarded following a so-called Project Completion Review (PCR) by the South Africa Department for International Development (DFID), which supported the programme.

The programme aimed to improve the outcomes for mothers and babies in the districts responsible for 50% of maternal deaths in South Africa.

'Making it Happen' was part of a larger project to improve maternal and child mortality in South Africa, through strengthening primary healthcare. While an A+ was awarded to the ambitious larger project, the Foto-Cewek component alone also received an A+.

CMNH worked in partnership with the great team of the MRC University of Pretoria to achieve such positive results.

One of the many key achievements noted by DFID was the use of UK volunteers to conduct 2,253 training sessions over the three year period. This helped to strengthen emergency obstetric care in 132 healthcare facilities.

During the three years, 3,237 healthcare professionals have been trained in a short competency based emergency obstetric and newborn care programme. This led to significant improvements in the knowledge and skills required to save the lives of women and newborns, and improved the quality of MNH care for women and their families in these districts.

The report highlighted that the course has taken strong steps towards sustainability at institution, district and provincial level. DFID commended not only the training, but also the systems created for measurement, dissemination and communication that were now in place to act as a platform going forward.

Jaki Lambert, Senior Research in Medecine Associate (Midwifery) at CMNH, said: ‘I have been privileged to work with such a great team on such a high impact project. The impact on families in South Africa could not have been achieved without the commitment shown by the teams both in South Africa and from the UK. Not forgetting the less visible but essential commitment of the teams out in the field. Through their tireless work; building links, building capacity and collecting data over a vast geographical area.’

*‘Making it Happen’ reduces maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity by increasing the availability of Skilled Birth Attendance (SBA) and Emergency Obstetric Care and Newborn Care (EOC&NC). It utilises volunteer midwives, obstetricians and gynaecologists to deliver competency-based training packages tailored to specific countries as well as strengthening data collection and data use in health facilities.