Health  Vol.5 No.7 , July 2013
Contribution of safe motherhood solidarity groups in using and accessing maternity services during a period of armed conflict

This report presents the results of a study on Reproductive Health done in North Kivu in September 2009. It was conducted by HEAL Africa, in partnership with the Provisional Division of Health, and financed by the University of Ottawa, Canada/CRDI with technical assistance from Western Cape University of South Africa. The study was conducted in the health zones of Birambizo and Kayna within the framework of the central office. The focus of the report is on one aspect of Reproductive Health—Low Risk Maternity. This study was conducted in rural areas given that Reproductive Health indicators are much weaker when compared with urban areas, according to EDS RDC, 2007 [1]. This study emphasizes the following points: General characteristics of the participants in the study, and the utilization and accessibility of maternity services in rural areas in conflict situations. The formula SPSS 12.0.1 was used to facilitate data analysis in the study. This study comes at a point in time when its relevance to HEAL Africa’s work will assist HEAL and its partners in determining the focus of interventions done in health zones in order to improve maternal and neonatal health. HEAL Africa firstly stepped into a Safe Motherhood pilot project in June 2006 for 9 months in the Masisi zone, then in 2007 in the Birambizo and Kayna health zones. In November 2007, HEAL expanded into Walikale and in October 2008, into Kirotshe, Binza, and Lubero. The intervention kit consists of reinforcing the capacity of existing health facilities, training traditional midwives who serve as a link between the community and the health structures, the provision of sanitary equipment, medical essentials and community mobilization was done through local leaders about health and reproduction, and organizing women of reproductive age in solidarity groups (SG) to generate maternity insurance. The community approach “Solidarity Groups for Maternity Insurance” constitutes the spine of HEAL Africa within the support it provides in Reproductive Health. The principal idea is to educate and train communities on how to use the MMR services that are available in their community, and to remove financial barriers to accessing health services. The 4 pillars that comprise the Safe Motherhood program are: family planning, prenatal care, safe assisted delivery and essential obstetric care. These four strategic measures are integral in assuring primary health care and equality for women. This study evaluates this approach, keeping in mind local strategies and their effects on improving the utilization and accessibility of reproductive health services.

Cite this paper: Mihanda, R. , Likofata, J. and Lusi, G. (2013) Contribution of safe motherhood solidarity groups in using and accessing maternity services during a period of armed conflict. Health, 5, 1085-1091. doi: 10.4236/health.2013.57146.

[1]   Ministère du Plan & Ministère de la Santé (2008) En- quête démographique et de Santé, République Démo- cratique du Congo 2007.

[2]   World Health Organization (1996) Le dossier mère-en- fant: Guide pour maternité sans risque.

[3]   World Bank (2007) The World Bank annual report.