Sustainable Access for Waiting Mothers

Project Description

Zambia is one of the most dangerous places in the world for a woman to give birth, and it is even more dangerous for rural Zambians. Sixty percent of births in rural areas occur in households without the presence of skilled health care professionals, and far from emergency obstetric and neonatal care facilities.

In order to create a more stable and safe environment for rural women to give birth, Mother’s Shelters (MS), or residential accommodations located next to health facilities represent a potentially useful, but under-utilized strategy to improve access to skilled deliveries and obstetric care.

Building upon the successes of SMGL, this project is evaluating if MS are part of the solution to increased access to facility-based deliveries in rural Zambia and, if so, how to best ensure sustainability. Given the limited research and data on the effectiveness of MS, the overall aim of the project is to shed light on whether and how MS can be used to save the lives of Zambian women and their unborn children.

To develop potential solutions, our study team engages with numerous stakeholders including: government officials, traditional leadership, community elders, men, health facility staff and the community at large.

Project Details

Principal Investigator Nancy Scott
Boston University Co-Investigators Davidson HamerKatherine SemrauTaryn Vian
Country Zambia
Dates of Research 2013-2014
Donor/Funder Merck for Mothers