Baseline Study of Integrated Services Begins in West Africa

West and Central Africa is a very diverse region with many unique languages, cultures, demographics, policies, and people. But, they share similar public health challenges that have no boundaries such as increasing HIV & AIDS prevalence rates and high maternal mortality rates. The Action for West Africa Region II (AWARE II) project, funded by the US Agency for International Development and managed by MSH, is identifying and scaling up best practices in family planning/reproductive health; HIV & AIDS prevention and response; and maternal, neonatal, and child health services throughout 21 countries in Central and Western Africa.

The AWARE II project is conducting a baseline study in Burkina Faso, Niger, Mauritania, and Togo that will evaluate the ability of health providers and community-based agents to deliver integrated services. At the same time, integrated family planning and maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) materials are being developed to train community-level health workers.

The study will assess the availability and utilization of family planning, HIV & AIDS, and maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) services. It will examine the feasibility, impact, and cost-effectiveness of key intervention packages and determine levels of access to care for sick children and the performance of the reproductive health commodity supply chain systems.

Study teams will visit selected health facilities and villages where community agents operate to collect information on health workers’ knowledge, observe their practices, and collect information related to service utilization. Exit interviews will be conducted with clients in both the facilities and communities to assess their awareness of key reproductive issues.

Key integrated interventions will be pilot-tested. A year after implementation, another study will compare performance levels before and after roll out of the intervention packages.  
Full regional participation and ownership is being supported throughout the course of the project to ensure successful implementation and sustainability.

AWARE II is managed by MSH in partnership with EngenderHealth and the Futures Group.

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