Maternal and Neonatal Mortality Reduction Project
DWW has carefully designed a project to help reduce one of the most preventable and urgent needs in Pakistan: neonatal mortality. We have identified the main causes of neonatal mortality in Pakistan; preterm birth and sepsis. Whilst many others would have gone down the road of expanding curative and in-patient facilities we decided to go “upstream” and take a public health and preventative based approach. Of course, not having access to large amounts of grant aid and instead relying on the generosity of small donors, helped focus our thoughts on creating a low cost and high impact long term sustainable project.
Our project mobilises the necessary logistic and human resources to reduce each of these outcomes within three years in one of the most deprived areas of Sindh, ShahdadKot. This taluka (sub division of a district) has been severely affected by the recent flooding in Pakistan and is predicted to expect higher levels of neonatal mortality compared to national data of 53 per 1000 live births. Our operational reach covers some 288 villages.
Recognizing a need to implement a low cost and innovative project, we created a multifaceted approach targeting Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs), Midwives, women of a reproductive age and pregnant women. Using a combination of powerful visual education tools, free clean and sterile birth kits and training sessions, the objective is to achieve a significant reduction in neo-natal deaths and complications. In the first 12 months alone we have supported 2,117 deliveries. In 2012, we expanded the project to include pregnancy related micro-nutrient supplements such iron and folic acid.