Dr. Moses emphasized that CSOs:
- Raise awareness among the public on the importance of what quality they should expect at health facilities , and how score cards provide insight into what facilities need to provide safe deliveries.
- Raise awareness among communities about what they can do to make sure that pregnant women come to health facility on time to reduce community deaths.
- Inform communities about the importance of antenatal care.
- Educate communities on family planning and the importance of the use reproductive health commodities.
- Discourage early marriages and issues related to early teenage pregnancy.
He added that CSOs have been attending the district health meetings and have been working closely with the DHMT’s Social Mobilization Pillar to help in the dissemination of health messages in communities.
In the area of encouraging facility delivery, the DMO said that CSOs have been engaging Traditional Births Attendants (TBAs) to discourage home delivery and act as referral agents in communities to help send pregnant women to facilities.
Koinadugu is one of the largest districts in Sierra Leone and the DHMT lack human resources to reach all communities, but CSOs are helping the DHMT to reach out to these communities.
The DMO explained that,the MamaYe Koinadugu Advocacy Group is one of the CSOs in the One Health Platform Committee, a committee that was set up by the DHMT to work on identifying disease prevalence in the district in human, animal and plants. The DHMT is eager to work with CSOs in improving health in the district.
The MamaYe Koinadugu Advocacy Group plans to support voluntary blood donations. The DMO is supportive of this, and has facilitated linkages and closer working between the Advocacy Group and the laboratory staff at the Kabala Government Hospital.
Together, they are developing a clear strategy on how to work together to support blood donation. The DMO has asked for this strategy to be presented during the health sectorial meeting 6th April, 2017 to partners for possible funding.
We are encouraged to see that CSOs in Koinadugu district are working closing with the district level health authorities to improve the maternal health status in the district through strengthened social accountability mechanisms.