We recently visited mum, Asyepet, in Busitema, Uganda, to see how her beautiful baby girl, Gift, is getting on.
At one year of age, Gift walks, stands and even tries to run! With a melting smile that appears often and dancing, moves influenced by her parents’ love of dance; her murmurs of ‘mama’ and ‘tata’ are another sign that she is developing into a smart little girl.
Asyepet is a beneficiary of our Irish Aid funded maternal and child health programme, AIM Health Plus. Throughout her pregnancy and following birth, Asyepet received crucial support and health advice from her Community Health Worker on the importance of breastfeeding and which local nutritious foods to feed her family.
AIM Health Plus trains Community Health Workers to bring pregnant and new mothers vital nutrition and health messages to keep both mum and baby healthy throughout pregnancy, delivery and the child’s first five years of life.
As Gift played on a mat placed on a clean floor, it was clear that Asyepet had taken on the hygiene advice of her Community Health Worker. Asyepet was also happy to say that Gift has now received the required vaccinations to keep her healthy and protected from some illnesses.
With support from her husband and Community Health Worker, Asyepet is so looking forward to having her first conversation with her thriving little girl!
About AIM Health Plus
The programme is funded by Irish Aid, the Irish government’s overseas development programme. It is now in its second phase and will run until 2021 in Mauritania, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda. Continue reading below for more details on how this programme works.
Simple, cost-effective and life-saving
We work with the Ministry of Health in each country to train Community Health Workers who support pregnant women and their babies throughout their pregnancy and for the first two years of their child's life
Equipping Community Health Workers with innovative technology
Community Health Workers are equipped with mobile phones, which help them to deliver messages to the household. Using the mobile phone they can also log the pregnant mother's details, register them immediately with a health clinic and send their information to that clinic.
Empowering communities to assess their health needs
Community Committees have been trained by World Vision to assess their community's health needs and to develop action plans to respond to these needs. Examples include the construction of toilet facilities to improve sanitation in the community. They also bring communities together to raise awareness of issues, such as the importance of exclusive breastfeeding.
Empowering communities to demand better health services
We work with local advocacy groups to discuss local health issues and create solutions for the problems they face. One of the roles that the advocacy groups carry out is to hold duty bearers to account and follow up on promises they made in order to strengthen health services.
Since 2011 over 2,000 Community Health Workers have been trained to:
- Visit pregnant women and new mothers in their homes and provide them with support, guidance and advice at critical times, using World Vision’s Timed and Targeted Counselling approach.
- Support pregnant women and new mothers to attend their check-ups.
- Advise on how to ensure both mother and baby eat nutritious food.
- Encourage and support immunisation.
- Get men involved; help husbands and extended family to play their role in ensuring both mother and baby are as safe and healthy as possible.
We are delighted to be partnering with Irish Aid to implement our health programme. We won't stop until zero babies and new mothers die from preventable causes.