Every quarter, MamaYe’s district lead activists (DLAs) from Koinadugu and Bonthe districts come together to share their success stories and plan their activities with the MamaYe team. On 14th July, MamaYe’s DLAs met at the MamaYe office in Freetown.
MamaYe’s DLAs play a very important role in mobilising their local communities to act to save the lives of mothers and babies. They coordinate, recruit and expand the numbers of MamaYe activists in our two focal districts, Koinadugu and Bonthe, working in partnership with the District Health Management Team (DHMT) and civil society organisations such as Fambul Initiative Network for Equality (FINE-SL), Messianic Ambassadors For Africa (MAFA) and Health For All Coalition (HFAC).
The DLAs engage their communities with information on safe clinics and health financing. This information helps to empower local people to hold decision makers to account for safe clinics and the allocation of funds to the health sector, and above all raises citizens' expectations for better health services for mothers and babies.
As usual, MamaYe’s DLAs have been very busy over the last couple of months. In Bonthe district, they recently participated in infection prevention control training conducted by the Bonthe DHMT and were also involved in the Facility Improvement Team (FIT) district advocacy engagement, organised by the Reproductive and Child Health Directorate, MoHS.
On behalf of the DLAs in Koinadugu district, Pastor Mathew Koroma talked about the successes of MamaYe activist group meetings, DLA involvement in district social mobilisation meetings, and community outreach visits. He also said that the council has recently announced funds to help equip health facilities.
Despite this progress, ongoing challenges in Koinadugu include stockouts of drugs provided by the Free Health Care Initiative and the potential to improve relationships between health workers and pregnant women.
Looking ahead, DLAs in Bonthe plan to engage newly formed groups such as scripture union groups and the Maya fishermen and fishmongers’ association as MamaYe activists. They also aim to meet with chiefdom administrators to discuss bottlenecks (delays) in the disbursement of funds and to meet with the DHMT and the Medical Superintendent to advocate for an ambulance to be located in Bonthe island.
In Koinadugu, the DLAs plan to continue outreach and sensitisation sessions, and ongoing attendance at social mobilisation meetings.