MAHMAZ: Maternity Homes Access in Zambia
The MAHMAZ Project is a Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial that aims to answer globally-relevant questions: Can maternity homes increase access to facility-based deliveries for women living furthest away from health care facilities? If so, how can they be sustainably designed? Maternity homes are residential lodging near health facilities where women can stay before delivery. MAHMAZ is constructing 10 maternity homes in rural Zambia adjacent to health facilities with the capacity to manage basic emergency obstetric and newborn complication and 2 at hospitals with comprehensive emergency care. The core maternity home model was generated from a mixed-methods formative evaluation and addresses 1) infrastructure, equipment and supplies to make homes acceptable; 2) policies, management & finances to ensure operations; and 3) linkages to the health facility. The core model was designed to meet community standards of safety and comfort and is aligned with Ministry of Health policy. The Study (10 intervention sites, 10 control sites) aims to understand the impact of the core model on delivery location among women living more than 10 km from facilities. Secondary outcomes include maternal and neonatal health outcomes. MAHMAZ is also employing a mixed-methods process evaluation to understand utilization patterns, acceptability, and financial and operational sustainability strategies. Results will determine if maternity homes are effective in increasing access to facility delivery and elicit information on implementation strategies. Findings will inform Ministry of Health officials in their strategic programmatic decisions around maternal and newborn health, including the possible scale-up of maternity homes across Zambia.
Lead SPH Researcher
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