Maternal Newborn and Child Health
PHOTO: AMY PORTER
Program goal: The overarching goal of the Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health (MNCH) program is to improve access to quality prenatal, delivery, and postnatal services for women, and provide access to essential health care for children under five years of age through an integrated grassroots approach.
Implementation strategy: The MNCH program is achieving its goal through:
• Improving the quality of health services provided in rural communities by building the capacity of local health professionals and equipping health facilities to deliver essential care; and
• Increasing the demand for MNCH services through community education and engagement.
Funding priorities: The MNCH program supports faith-based partners in selected low- and middle-income countries who work in communities where access to MNCH services is limited.
Current projects: The MNCH program is providing technical support and funding to projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guatemala, Haiti, Mozambique, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Nigeria. Learn more.
The Abundant Health Initiative: The MNCH program has an important role in contributing to the United Methodist Church’s Abundant Heath Initiative to reach 1 million children with lifesaving interventions by 2020. Learn more umcabundanthealth.org
Lifesaving Prenatal Care: A Story from the UMC Health Office in Mozambique
Lucia has five children. She delivered her first four babies at home, assisted by traditional midwives. After 12 years she conceived again and was invited by a volunteer to attend the Cambine prenatal clinic. Lucia experienced complications in her eighth month of pregnancy. She called the volunteer and got to the hospital in time. “This program helped me a lot,” explained Lucia. “If I had stayed at home maybe I would have lost my son, or I would have died.”
Marie's Miracle Baby: A Story from the Central Democratic Republic of Congo Abundant Health Project
The Dingele Health Center in central Democratic Republic of Congo serves a population of 8,450 people living in 13 villages. A Community Health Worker (CHW) from one of those villages reached out to her neighbor, Marie, whose last three pregnancies had resulted in stillborn babies. Each time she’d been helped by an untrained birth attendant, and, after her last loss, was inconsolable. Her sister, who had six children, gave her one of her daughters, to comfort her.
Even though her husband still discouraged her from attending the clinic in her current pregnancy, the CHW persuaded her to attend prenatal care at Dingele Clinic. Marie said, “by the end of my eighth month, the CHW would go with me to the health center where the doctor and his team would examine me. I gave birth without any problems. If I had stayed at home, I might have lost this beautiful baby also, or even died myself.”