Malawi Medical Journal

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MaiMwana women’s groups: a community mobilisation intervention to improve mother and child health and reduce mortality in rural Malawi

M Rosato, C Mwansambo, S Lewycka, P Kazembe, T Phiri, F Malamba, MN Newell, D Osrin, A Costello


This article presents a detailed description of a community mobilization intervention involving women’s groups in Mchinji District, Malawi. The intervention was implemented between 2005 and 2010.
The intervention aims to build the capacities of communities to take control of the mother and child health issues that affect them. To achieve this it comprises trained local female facilitators establishing groups and using a manual, participatory rural appraisal tools and picture cards to guide them through a community action cycle to identify and implement solutions to mother and child health problems. Significant resource inputs include salaries for facilitators and supervisors, and training, equipment and materials to support their work with groups.
It is hypothesized that the groups will catalyse community collective action to address mother and child health issues and improve the health and reduce the mortality of mothers and children. Their impact, implementation and cost-effectiveness have been rigorously evaluated through a randomized
controlled trial design. The results of these evaluations will be reported in 2011.
AJOL African Journals Online