“Thanks to The maternal waiting room I am able to deliver my child safely’’

NPI EXPAND is implementing NPI EXPAND, a five-year (October 2019-October 2024) USAID-funded program to increase the availability and use of health services by strengthening the technical and organizational capacity of new and underutilized partners (NUPs) and supporting them to scale-up health innovations in line with the USAID Local Capacity Development strategy. As one of the CSO implementing partners , Mahiberehiwort for Social Development has been implementing Social Accountability for better primary  health service project in Amhara region  at Waghimra ( Sekota Zuria and Gazgibla)  and North wollo  zone   ( Gidan and Gazo woreda) . The main goal of this project is to improve the accessibility and quality of services in Family planning  (FP) , Maternal , Newborn and Child health (MNCH).  The aforementioned areas were selected taking the magnitude of the problem and the need on FP and MNCH in to consideration.  While implementing the project different lessons were learned and success stories were witnessed in selected woredas of Waghimra and North wollo.

witnessed in selected woredas of Waghimra and North wollo.

The major intervention approach to bring the intended change is community engagement through social accountability using community score card (CSC) tool.   There are six steps in CSC.

All steps of CSC have been completed in all the intervention areas with significant changes and lessons drawn in the interventions. Accordingly, Success story in Taba Health Center of Gazgibila Woreda, have been witnessed.
Asketema of Gezgibila Woreda
Asketema health center is found in Gazgibla woreda, Waghimra zone of Amhara region which is 310 km away from the capital city of Amhara region , Bahir Dar, and currently it has a total population of 29352 .The health center is found 42 km away from zonal capital , Sekota town, which is 7 hours of walk.
Asketem helth center started to provide services for its catchment population in 2005 G.C. Even tough, community complaints and good governance problem is common challenge in its catchment population, The health center did not initiate the social accountability activities fully to overcome these problems. After MSD’s intervention through the NPI Expand Program of the Social Accountability for Better Primary Health Service Delivery project, the health center initiated the social accountability activities and is progressing positively in so many ways. Asketema Health center is one of the exemplary health centers significant change was made after application of the CSC tool.

Asketema health center has made noticeable changes in terms of demand creation, service and Infrastructure.  The social accountability project created an enabling environment for the community and the government officials to assess the condition and needs to improve the services and capacity of the health center for betterment of  mothers and children’s health.

During the application of CSC, one of main steps is to prepare joint action plan as per the identified issues left to be addressed.  Before MSD’s intervention, the Asketema health center didn’t have clean and proper water pipeline and latrine also enough materials and food items to provide for mothers to stay in the maternal waiting room. After MSD’s intervention, the community started to learn the need to collaborate with the government and indicate the priority needs specially for mothers who are facing big challenge in safeguarding their maternal , new born and children health . The health center also started taking constructive actions for delivering quality services to ensure MNCH. Accordingly, the health center fulfilled the required materials for maternal waiting room like food with cooking personnel, counselling service, clean and comfortable latrine and shower. The health center also installed water tanker with 15,000 liters holding capacity.

A 27 years old Mother Mrs Bayat Tsehayu extends her appreciation to the health center’s improved facility  , With a beautiful smiling face Bayat tells how  the maternal waiting room minimized her worry  “ The availability of this waiting room changed my health status in so many ways , we didn’t have food , clean toilet or enough water before , now  we have a person that cooks for us timely and as per our preference. I  am now 9 months pregnant and  waiting for the delivery date with my sisters who are here waiting for delivery as well”

Bayat continues “ I live 5 hours walking distance away from the center and it would have been impossible for m eto  come here on a daily basis or even to think of coming during labour , thanks to the maternal waiting room I am able to deliver my child safely ’’

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