Strengthening access of mothers and children to healthcare services

Significant achievement in mothers and children’s access to healthcare services in Egypt

29 October 2018
Strengthening access of mothers and children to healthcare services
UNICEF/Egypt 2017/Shehzad Noorani

Cairo, Egypt, 10 September 2018 – Since this photo was taken in 2017, there has been a significant achievement in mothers and children’s access to healthcare services in Egypt.

“After less than a year of implementing this joint project between the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP), UNICEF and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the percentage of women who completed at least 4 antenatal visits has raised from 31 per cent to 52 per cent, and the average number of growth monitoring visits increased by 25 per cent” said Bruno Maes, UNICEF Egypt representative, on the 10th of September 2018, during a meeting to review the implementation of the project.

In February 2018, AFD and the MoHP officially launched the project “Strengthening Access to Primary Health Care through Community Mobilization and Health Promotion in three Governorates of Egypt”, of a value of € 31 million. The project’s activities, to be implemented by the Ministry, are aiming at improving the quality of healthcare service in five governorates through providing new equipment and staff training at more than 700 health healthcare centres in Delta and Canal regions.

Josepha Degosse, Investment Officer at AFD, said: “This is our first intervention in the healthcare sector in Egypt. As part of our global agenda, we are very focused on decreasing gender inequalities and supporting healthcare systems from the supply and demand sides.”

On the supply side, in terms of healthcare services and professionals Dr. Soad Abd El-Mageed, Head of Primary Healthcare Sector at the MoHP, explains: “There had to be an integration between different healthcare professionals for better outcomes. For example, doctors who treat the patients and Community Healthcare Workers who deliver door-to-door health awareness messages had to communicate and update each other with insights and recommendations”.

To support the demand side in terms of the mothers’ compliance to visiting Healthcare Units, UNICEF signed a € 870,000-worth agreement with AFD. Dr. Oliver Petrovic, Health Chief at UNICEF Egypt, explains that the main objective of this partnership
“is to increase knowledge on healthy behaviours, improve care seeking behaviours and enhance community participation in providing health services”.

The meeting concluded with mutually-agreed future plans and recommendations such as UNICEF’s facilitation to ToT workshops to the MoHP central team on “Use of data for decision making” as well as training to local NGOs’ volunteers to help Community Healthcare Workers in their roles.

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