Leadership Program Leads to Quadrupling of Antenatal Visits in Kongoti, Côte d’Ivoire

 {Photo credit: MSH}Charlotte Abroman, midwife, Kongoti Center for Rural Health, Daoukro.Photo credit: MSH

Leadership Development Program Plus (LDP+) leads to dramatic rise in antenatal care visits

“I was both aware of the challenges that existed and frustrated at not being able to meet them,” said Charlotte Abroman, midwife at the Kongoti Center for Rural Health, discussing low antenatal clinic visit rates.

In Côte d’Ivoire as a whole, 70 percent of pregnant women attend all four ANC visits, but in Abroman’s area of Kongoti, only 11 percent made all the visits. In the health district of Daoukro, which includes Kongoti and other towns, the rate was 24 percent.

In May 2014, the US Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Leadership, Management and Governance Côte d’Ivoire Decentralization Pilot Project (LMG/CIDMP) launched an LDP+ with health teams from Daoukro and eight other districts.

Developed by Management Sciences for Health, the LDP+ empowers health-sector personnel to address national health priorities by strengthening their leadership, management, and governance skills.

Working in teams for five to eight months, LDP+ participants identify service delivery challenges, create a common vision for addressing them, increase their capacity to mobilize local resources, and develop an action plan to achieve measurable results. After each LDP+ workshop, teams return to their regional and district offices, passing their new skills and perspectives on to their colleagues.

After the Daoukro team shared their LDP+ experience with Abroman and other health leaders in Kongoti, they too formed a team and created their own challenge--to increase the percentage of pregnant women attending four antenatal visits from a baseline of 11 percent to 27 percent. Abroman said:

Thanks to the LDP+, I developed my challenge model, identified useful allies in the community, and worked according to the strategies of the LDP+. Today, I organize consultations in the villages of Kongoti, and I can mobilize and educate pregnant women--who now attend ANC visits much more frequently.

The numbers speak volumes: a mere three months after the start of the local LDP+, the rate of pregnant women attending four ANC visits in Kongoti quadrupled: from 11 percent in March 2014 to 48 percent in June 2014.  Since the team so quickly surpassed their original target, Abroman now says she has no doubt they will help Kongoti achieve the national rate of 70 percent.