Final Evaluation of the Maternal and Child Health Project part 2
The Plan Malawi Maternal and Child Health project (2008-2010) is a continuation / scale up of similar initiative implemented under the first phase of the Plan/NORAD Framework Agreement (2005-2007). The geographic coverage of this project and evaluation are selected traditional authorities of Kasungu and Mzimba districts where Plan operates. The project goal is to promote children’s right to survival and healthy development, free from morbidity caused by common and preventable childhood illnesses. The project also takes cognizance of the relationship between improved maternal sexual and reproductive health and child’s health. Core components of the program included: education of primary care givers especially mothers of children under 5, in prevention and management (key care practices) of common childhood illnesses namely: diarrhea; malaria, pneumonia, malnutrition; promotion of exclusive breastfeeding for first 6 months of child life and promotion of adequate supplementary feeding practices; and improving access to immunization. School health promotion, with focus on reproductive health/HIV and AIDS education, de-worming, and water and sanitation, was also a component part of this program. Safe motherhood through information, education and communication was promoted through raising awareness and access to reproductive health information and services. Deliberate efforts were made to trigger engagement of males in women’s reproductive health especially in care seeking and availing of support needed during pregnancy and child birth. Male involved was also promoted in nutrition education and child feeding innovations. Orientations were conducted for child bearing women and traditional birth attendants, focusing on recognition of emergency signs and the urgent need for care seeking during pregnancy.The project targeted 2 Program Units of Plan Malawi namely: Kasungu (with planned reach of 32 communities) and Mzuzu/Mzimba, with planned coverage of 30 communities. The project planned to reach a total of 1287 children under 5 years and 690 women in child bearing age. The final evaluation of the Plan Malawi Maternal and Child Health Project was commissioned to assess progress towards set project objectives, effectiveness of program strategies and identify best practices, lessons learnt, weaknesses, strengths and recommendations. The evaluation also assessed the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, & effect/outcomes and sustainability of interventions employed.