Health Community Agents: Safe Mother Action Groups working on reducing Maternal and Neonatal Deaths

In 2017, Sympathy of Sigombela village in Sinazongwe district was trained by World Vision in Time-Targeted Counselling (TTC), which looks at the welfare of pregnant women and children below the age of two.

Since then, she has taught the community about the importance of antenatal booking to help reduce maternal and neonatal mortality.

“We have been working hard in the community, and these cases, which were common in the past, have reduced. We wish that this good work should continue so that we put away the dangers of maternal death, which have been affecting most families, " she says.

Sympathy says that children are now born healthy, growing up without malnutrition, and pregnant women live healthy lifestyle to give birth to healthy babies.

“We are very happy with the work that World Vision is doing for pregnant women and children in our community. We had many problems, but now we are always smiling because we have been empowered with knowledge and skills to improve our well-being," says Sympathy.


She enjoys her work as a member of her community's Safe Motherhood Action Group (SMAG).

And Eunice, one of the expectant mothers’ often monitored by Sympathy, is happy with the work of the SMAGs and World Vision.

The SMAGs are doing a tremendous job. They teach us to care for ourselves during pregnancy and the baby after delivery. They encourage us to start antenatal early, and we are tested to see how we are doing, how the baby is growing, and how to prepare for the birth. They also encourage us to ensure we deliver from a health facility, so we thank them for their good work

World Vision’s Timed and Targeted Counselling (TTC) is a family-inclusive behaviour change communication (BCC) approach targeting families of young children, especially the most vulnerable and marginalized. TTC encompasses various life-saving health practices through appropriately timed messages delivered using interactive storytelling. It applies a dialogue counselling methodology to assess current needs and practices and negotiate progressive improvements.

TTC seeks to engage both parents and decision-makers, embracing a family-inclusive and gender-transformative model of child health and development in which the positive contribution of fathers is emphasized. It can be delivered by various cadres, including officially recognized community health workers (CHWs), guide mothers, or volunteers.