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Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2003 Aug;82(2):231-40.

An evaluation of a community-based approach to safe motherhood in northwestern Tanzania.

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Division of Adult and Community Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.



We present an evaluation of the Community Capacity Building and Empowerment initiative, undertaken by the Community-Based Reproductive Health Project (CBRHP), designed to address high maternal morbidity and mortality.


Qualitative data from group interviews and program data from CBRHP were used to assess progress in development and use of community level transport systems and support for the village health workers (VHWs).


Project activities increased community participation in maternal health. An increase was seen in knowledge of danger signs, birth planning, timely referrals, and transport of pregnant women to hospitals, as well as in support and retention of VHWs. More women with obstetrical problems are using the community-based transport system to get to hospitals.


Community participation and support for VHW activities and the transport systems have led to better care for pregnant women and sustained links between the communities and health facilities, which may reduce maternal and infant morbidity and mortality.

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