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Using community resources to provide maternal and child health services: lessons learned from developing countries

Ubaidur Rob, Population Council
Md. Noorunnabi Talukder, Population Council

Many developing countries implemented different health service delivery models or interventions to provide maternal and child health services in the community. This paper examined selected models implemented in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Cambodia, Ghana and Tanzania. Strengths and limitations of these models were also identified. Findings suggest that the availability of skilled human resources to provide health services in combination with targeted interventions to strengthen the health system increases the access to health services at the community level. Community participation in planning, developing and managing health services is required for successful implementation of any program. The functioning of health system at the local level can be improved by using the planning and priority-setting tools, which help identify cost-effective health services reflecting the local needs. Training of and providing logistic support to volunteers and linking them to a functioning local health system for referral are also necessary to enhance the service coverage.

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Presented in Session 18: Community based approaches to improving child and maternal health