Reducing maternal mortality through women’s empowerment
We are working to improve maternal, sexual, reproductive and newborn health in Inhambane province, Mozambique. Our partnership between the provincial health directorate and the University of Saskatchewan in Canada addresses health services as well as community and social conditions. Gaps in knowledge, skills, and resources are all challenges, and women’s empowerment is key.
Our goal is to improve sexual, reproductive, maternal and newborn health in the province of Inhambane, Mozambique. A five-year project that began in April 2017 and is funded by Global Affairs Canada, the project is a partnership between the Inhambane Provincial Health Directorate and the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, which is the implementing agency.
Our headquarters is in Inhambane City and our Canadian office is in the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology at the University of Saskatchewan.
Our formal name in English is Engaging Communities and Health Workers for Sexual, Reproductive, Maternal and Newborn Health. In Portuguese, it is Envolver Comunidades e Profissionais de Saúde para a Melhoria da Saúde Sexual, Reprodutiva, Materna e Neonatal. In Canada, we also use the informal name: Mozambique-Canada Maternal Health Project. In Mozambique, we use: Projecto Saúde Materna Inhambane – Canadá.
Reducing maternal mortality requires women’s empowerment. This means challenging the dynamics of power relationships, particularly women’s inequality, both within the health system and community.
We are contributing to maternal and newborn health in Mozambique through improved practices in the health system and in the communities where women live, including reproductive and sexual rights.
Our intention is to improve the lives of women and newborns through improving the lives of families and communities. We will engage both health institutions and communities in creating a healthy and safe environment for maternal child health care and development.
The Inhambane-Canada Maternal Health Project builds on ongoing and long term partnerships we have created over the years with Mozambique. We link health institution service delivery and training with community based awareness and mobilization, focusing on the role of women and social and economic determinants of health.
Building on our foundations
Our project builds on a foundation of 15 years of partnership between the University of Saskatchewan and agencies in Inhambane, in particular the Massinga Centre. This health training centre, in the city of Massinga, was built and enhanced through our cooperation projects. The expertise developed over the years will be used in the current project: participatory and integrative learning; incorporation of gender equity; engaging community health activists, local midwives and traditional healers; and establishing community partnerships for community health.