Rating: 4.95 stars 20 reviews
Issues: Health, International
Location: 318 W. Millbrook Road Suite 105 Raleigh NC 27609 USA
Results: In Bolivia, the Curamericas project reduced child mortality rates by an average of 62% in six years. After one year since construction was completed and the Maternity Center opened to serve families in Guatemala, 30% of all births in the community are taking place in its safe facilities. Nurses and midwives are trained to aid in safe deliveries and to appropriately respond in emergency situations. After only one year of work in Haiti, we have provided services to more than 10,000 women providing treatment and prevention services for HIV/AIDS. Our Nehnwaa Child Survival Project in Liberia records zero maternal deaths since our project began in 2008. In a country where the lifetime risk of death due to pregnancy is 400 times as high as the U.S., this is a terrific achievement by the local health teams.
Target demographics: Mothers and children under the age of five in countries with high maternal and child mortality rates; women of reproductive age in Haiti
Geographic areas served: Guatemala, Liberia, Haiti, Bolivia
Programs: Curamericas Global partners with underserved communities to make measurable and sustainable improvements in their health and wellbeing. For over thirty years, we have worked in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa to alleviate suffering from treatable and preventable causes. Our past and current projects in Guatemala, Haiti, and Liberia have served communities with some of the highest child and maternal mortality rates in the world, confronting conditions that include malnutrition, pneumonia, malaria, and complications from child birth. We believe passionately in the community and family foundations of health. Our projects build the capacity of communities and families to improve their own health. Therefore, our projects always empower women and girls, recognizing that a mother is the child’s first doctor, and the surest predictor of a child’s health is the education level of his/her mother. Curamericas Global utilizes community-based education and prevention interventions in order to address different health problems relating to maternal and child health in underserved communities in Latin America and West Africa, and delivers these strategies using Curamericas’ Community-Based, Impact-Oriented (CBIO) model in combination with the Care Group and Positive Deviance methodologies. The CBIO approach involves: (a) Community mobilization to cement good relations and secure community buy-in and ownership; (b) Conducting a census and health assessment of each community; (c) drawing maps, enumerating households, and creating a Community Register of every beneficiary by household; (d) establishing Community Health Committees (CHCs) and helping the CHCs develop a Community Diagnosis describing the community’s health challenges and a Community Health Plan describing how the project and the community will work based on both epidemiologically-driven health objectives and community perceived health priorities; (e) using the Community Registers to monitor coverage of key services to ensure equitable services to all and that those most in need are served; (f) methodically locating and making targeted home visits through Routine Home Visitation (RHV) to those most in need; and (g) utilizing a continuous health surveillance system that allows staff to tailor service delivery and engage in continuous quality improvement. This involves the capturing of vital events – new pregnancies, births, and deaths - that give us the unique capacity to track and detect actual project impact and measure changes in maternal and child mortality rather than a sample. The Care Group methodology involves recruiting and training mother peer educators called Care Group Volunteers. Each Care Group Volunteer is assigned eight to twelve neighboring households and brings to these households, via group meetings or home visitation, life-saving Behavior Change Communication (BCC) delivered in the local language and utilizing proven methods of adult education for non- or semi-literate audiences. Subjects covered include, but are not limited to the importance of antenatal and post-partum care and health facility deliveries; recognizing and responding to danger signs in pregnancy, delivery, and post-partum; prevention and care-seeking for malaria, diarrhea, and pneumonia; and proper nutrition for pregnant women and children, as well as immunization adherence. In this manner, health education penetrates to every household. In addition, the CGVs are the project’s “eyes and ears” and report to project staff vital events so field staff can respond with timely services and to enable the unique surveillance capability described above. The Positive Deviance model identifies healthy children (“positive deviants”). The mothers of these children are then interviewed in order to find out how better health was achieved, and thereby what locally available and affordable foods can be used.
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