Husbands as Partners Campaign: Championing Men as Partners in Reducing Maternal and Neonatal Mortality in Senegal

Organization: 
Farm Radio International
Organization Location: 
Ottawa, Canada

Most life-threatening obstetric complications occur during labor and delivery. The "three delays model" identifies three delays that contribute to maternal and newborn mortality when emergencies occur during childbirth: delay in deciding to seek care, in reaching a care facility, and in actually receiving care. Women's access to antenatal care and trained care at birth, including emergency obstetric and neonatal care, is proven to significantly reduce maternal and neonatal mortality. The proposed project: "Husbands as Partners Campaign: Championing Men as Partners in Reducing Maternal and Neonatal Mortality in Senegal" is a demand-driven approach that aims to reduce the risks women face during childbirth. This project will pilot an innovative communication strategy, using participatory radio campaigns and mobile phones, to encourage men to become partners in ensuring the health and wellbeing of their wives and newborn children during childbirth. In Senegal, men are the primary decision-makers in the family, which impacts women's ability to access maternal health care. The campaign will target men as gatekeepers of family finances to raise awareness and change practices with regard to: accessing antenatal care; planning for trained care during labor and delivery; and ensuring adequate resources are available for emergency services if necessary. If successful, families will better understand the value of skilled care and planned childbirth, and adopt practices to ensure a healthy pregnancy and safe delivery. The participatory radio campaign would then serve as a model for maternal and neonatal health promotion campaigns throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.

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