Achieving MDG 5 in resource-poor settings: results from the skilled care initiative
Tuntufye Mwakajonga, Family Care International
Angela Mutunga, Family Care International
Ellen Brazier, Family Care International
The Skilled Care Initiative (SCI) was developed to generate programmatic evidence on implementing skilled care in low resource settings. It used a quasi-experimental pre-test/post-test design, and was implemented in Burkina Faso, Kenya and Tanzania. Survey questionnaires were administered to households, women of reproductive age and co-resident husbands. Information was collected on the use of skilled care at childbirth, and related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. 20,000 households in the intervention and comparison districts were surveyed in 2003 and 2006. The intervention districts in all three countries show an improvement of the use of skilled care. The improvement is most impressive in Burkina Faso, where at baseline 25% of women delivered with a skilled attendant, and at endline 56%. Contributing to significant increases in the use of skilled care at childbirth, even among the poorest women, the skilled care approach holds promise for meeting global and national commitments to reducing maternal mortality.