Coverage of essential maternal newborn and child health interventions is often lowest where lives are at the greatest risk. In many impoverished communities, this is mainly due to the long distance from the public health facilities and financial considerations. A large proportion of the women in such communities do not delivered in the presence of a skilled birth attendant. This has contributed to the persistently poor maternal newborn and child outcomes.
Women Stretch Initiative brings focused antenatal care (ANC) services closer to home through outreach services. The antenatal period is a period of opportunity in the continuum of care. It is a crucial entry point into the formal healthcare services especially for women with poor utilization of free public healthcare. Effective programmes offered through the ANC increase the impact and effectiveness of care during childbirth and postnatal care period.
Outreaches have given us the opportunity to reach women that have been described as hard to reach. The pregnant women are given health education to ensure birth and emergency preparedness to eliminate the delay in deciding to seek appropriate medical help. The outreach ANCs promote demand for quality skilled care and foster community involvement in maternal newborn and child health. They also provide opportunities to link with other important programmes, such as nutrition promotion and financial empowerment. This ultimately empowers the pregnant women to take control of their maternal health with the overarching objective of ensuring safe pregnancies and safe deliveries.