Strengthening Health Systems

In countries where a large proportion of the population are struggling to live on low incomes, marginalised communities face particular hurdles in obtaining health care. And even where they do have access to health services, the facilities are often lacking in resources and trained staff, and so they are unable to meet people’s needs.

Women and Children First works to improve the knowledge and skills of health care staff who are providing reproductive, maternal and newborn health services. We support the training of health care staff at every level, including midwives, community health workers and traditional birth attendants (TBAs), and help to develop teaching materials.

According to the World Health Organization, an effective health care system needs:

  • qualified staff
  • funds
  • information
  • supplies
  • transport
  • communications
  • overall guidance and direction.

Our work to strengthen health systems aims to develop the capacity of low-income countries to plan, manage and deliver high-quality health care equally within communities. We also support community-based advocacy, which enables communities to voice their need for quality maternal and newborn health care.

Collaborative advocacy

Health services involve huge, complex organisations, and changing them means influencing local and national governments, non-governmental groups and international bodies. Women and Children First collaborates with other organisations to raise awareness, create the political will, advocate and support community-based advocacy for improvements in health services that improve the health of mothers and babies across the world.