SWIFTCare - Supporting Women, Infants and Families in Timely Care Seeking for Maternal and Neonatal Health
Catholic Relief Services, in collaboration with local implementation partners the Nicaragua Ministry of Health (MoH) and Caritas Matagalpa, and supported by researchers at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Sustainable Sciences Institute, proposes to scale up a proven integrated solution that optimizes birth outcomes in the poorest and most remote communities of Matagalpa, Nicaragua where high maternal and neonatal mortality continues to be a critical problem. The project will increase demand for and access to quality preventative and emergency obstetric care by removing social and behavioral barriers to accessing prenatal, delivery and neonatal health services through several innovative elements, including: (1) father-focused behavior change to increase timely prenatal, delivery, and newborn health care-seeking at the household level; (2) training and equipping auxiliary nurse community health volunteers (Salubristas) with an appropriate technology package in order to deliver basic prenatal and neonatal services, life saving skills, and high risk case identification and referral in the most remote areas, (3) cultural and gender sensitive adaptation (humanization) of approaches to care delivery at the institutional level. Mobile health (mHealth) technologies will support data collection, case management and referral, as well as verbal and social autopsy documentation of maternal and neonatal deaths and "near misses" by Salubristas and MoH staff, improving reporting and identification of their biological and social causes. In this transition to scale, the project will consolidate methodologies as best practices at the department level in Matagalpa while providing conclusive research to promote their adoption nationally and globally.