The IMPACT (improving parent and child outcomes) programme, started in Malawi in 2011, and, due to its success, has expanded to 6 African countries. Pregnancy Twinning currently supports the programme in Malawi and Nigeria.

The key component of IMPACT is the provision of a well trained community ‘Mother Buddy’ who supports the mum, baby and family with home based visits during the first 1000 days. The results below are taken from two independent evaluations of the programme in Malawi and Nigeria.

 

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Increase in attending ANC – they get the care they need

The number of mums-to-be attending four or more appointments during their pregnancy shot up by 38%. They got antenatal care earlier in their pregnancies, and were more likely to see a doctor because of advice from their Mother Buddy.*

 

They give birth more safely – increase in professionally attended deliveries at clinics

Our mums, supported by a Mother Buddy, are 22% more likely to have their babies delivered by doctors or midwives and in clinics rather than at home (13% increase). In addition, since Mother Buddies have been operating, there has been an 89% increase in birth plan usage.

Nutrition and health improved for the family.

The proportion of women eating three meals a day was 40% higher among those supported by a Mother Buddy. They were also more likely to have mosquito nets, helping to prevent malaria. Mother Buddies also train and support clients on eating a balanced diet, exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months, and weaning their infant.

Increased involvement of Dads during the first 1000 days

One of the cultural challenges is the low involvement of Dads in the whole 1000 day period. Male partners can often be a barrier to accessing good healthcare for expectant and new mums, partly because they often control family finances, which means it may be difficult for an expectant mum to pay for transport to the antenatal care clinic. It is also crucial that male partners are also tested for HIV. Mother Buddies have supported families and have achieved a 28% increase in Malawi and a  34% increase in Nigeria, of male partner involvement in antenatal care.