Women and Children First promotes an integrated approach to improving maternal and child health by mobilising communities, improving maternal and newborn health services, and advocating for good policies and funding to provide accessible, quality services.
HOW WE DO IT
Women and Children First works in poor rural communities in Africa, Asia and Central America to improve the health of women, children and adolescents.
We work in partnership with NGOs, academic institutions, professional associations and Ministries of Health to deliver projects that have a proven impact on maternal, newborn and child health.
We support the formation and facilitation of women’s groups using a participatory approach that empowers communities to take action to improve reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health. This approach can reduce maternal mortality by a half and newborn mortality by a third in areas where mortality rates are high and at least 30 per cent of women in a community attend a women’s group. The approach has been recommended by the World Health Organisation, especially for rural areas where there is little access to health services.
We also promote improvements in the quality and accessibility of reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent care provided in health facilities, and support our local partners to advocate at local and national level to strengthen policies and provide adequate resources for reproductive, maternal, newborn child and adolescent health.
Funding for this work has come from a range of sources including the UK Department for International Development, the Big Lottery Fund, Comic Relief, the UN Population Fund, charitable trusts, corporate supporters and individual donors.
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The participatory women’s group approach which Women and Children First promotes has been tested through seven studies in four countries in Africa and Asia and has been shown to be successful in improving maternal and newborn care practices in the community and reducing maternal and newborn mortality in rural areas.