Health and Nutrition
After attending a meeting conducted by the Health Centre Committee in her village, Rumbidzai (25 years) now knows that it is her right to access free maternal and neonatal health services at the local clinic. When Rumbidzai realised that she was pregnant, she visited the clinic to have her pregnancy examined and monitored to protect her life and that of her unborn baby. She also registered to deliver her baby at Gota Clinic in Guruve. Rumbidzai continues attending the pre-natal check-ups and does not have to pay a single cent for services provided.
Save the Children’s Health and Nutrition program focuses on maternal and newborn health, Adolescent, Sexual and Reproductive Health and nutrition. We work closely with the government’s Ministry of Health and Child Care, partner organisations and communities to ensure that no mother dies while giving birth, that no child dies of preventable causes before their fifth birthday and gets adequate nutrition to ensure health, growth and development. We also advocate and support the provision of improved quality and access to health care services for mothers and newborns and work to increase the demand for health care services.
Maternal and Newborn Health
Save the Children believes no mother should die while giving birth and no child should die at birth. We support the training of health staff and community health staff to respond and improve access to maternal, reproductive and new born health services. Some of the priority activities we do include provision of medical and essential BEmONC equipment, facilitation and support for training health staff including village Health Workers in maternal and child health issues, i.e. BEmONC trainings aimed at improving timely identification and appropriate interventions for high risk mothers, revitalization of Kangaroo Mother Care units, logistical and technical support to the district health activities such as routine and outreach Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) programmes and strengthening the links between communities and rural health centres. Working with HCCs, using the Community Action Circle-communities are able to prioritize their health issues and map on how to resolve them-giving communities ownership and voice to how projects should be implemented.
Strengthening Community Participation in Heath
Save the Children in partnership with the Community Working Group on Health is currently implementing an advocacy project called Strengthening Community Participation in Health. The project is being implemented in 14 districts of Zimbabwe. The project aims at enabling communities to increase their influence for access and utilization of quality Maternal Neonatal and Child Health (MNCH) services, through improved demand and accountability of MNCH service provision. The work is done mostly through and with the Health Centre Committees (HCC) established at each rural Health Centre. Information and evidence gathered from clients’ feedback by the Health Centre Committees on health service delivery is shared among users, duty bearers and the general community. In trying to promote a conducive and enabling environment for MNCH accountability, the project lobbies health and health related policy makers (Parliamentary Portfolio Committees, Provincial Health Executives, District Health Executives. parliamentarians, Public Health Advisory Board etc), for policies and enactment of the statutes for improved maternal health services.
In addition to the advocacy work in the districts, Save the Children also works at national level with other civil society organisations and parliamentary portfolio committee on health to advocate for increased budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Health and Child Care to meet the needs of communities and in line with the 15% Abuja target.
Adolescent, Sexual and Reproductive Health
In HIV and AIDS, Save the children works in the area of Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Program that seek to increase knowledge on ASRHR including HIV Prevention to the youth to protect themselves and others from the teenage pregnancies, STIs and HIV infection. Save the Children also focuses on facilitating adolescent and youth friendly corners and building capacity of health workers to provide quality ASRHR services..
The Nutrition program addresses factors that contribute to maternal and infant malnutrition, through strengthening the capacity of district MoHCC and health facilities to reduce malnutrition. We implement programmes that include maternal health and nutrition; support to Vitamin A supplementation; promotion of optimal infant and young child feeding practices; nutrition education and awareness campaigns; community based growth monitoring and promotion ; management and treatment of malnutrition across age-groups. We do this through Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition and Targeted Supplementary Feeding.
Zimbabwe Civil Society Organisations for Scaling Up Nutrition
Save the children has also been influential in Scaling up Nutrition movement in Zimbabwe, through its leadership in setting up the Zimbabwe Civil Society Organisations for Scaling Up Nutrition (ZICOSUNA) in 2013. The alliance is chaired by Save the Children, and has convened a number of successful meetings. It is now actively participating in regional and international nutrition forums. This work has also extended to nationwide advocacy work on nutrition and nutrition policies