Effective strategies for improving access to quality care: Central Africa Network for Women's Reproductive Health
Aimée Patricia Ndembi Ndembi1, Justine Ella2, Marie Irène Bena4 ,3, Marijke Alblas3 ,4 1ONG GCG, Libreville, Gabon, 2Association des sages femmes, Libreville, Gabon, 3Association des sages femmes, Douala, Cameroon, 4CSU/CNRS, Paris, France - email@example.com
The Central Africa Network for Women’s Reproductive Health: Gabon, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea (GCG) aims to enhance reproductive healthcare by facilitating exchange between countries in the region and conducting research, training and education to improve services and provisions pertaining to pregnancy accompaniment, pregnancy prevention and pregnancy termination. The network is committed to implementing feasible strategies for enhancing the capacities of local practitioners and for assuring access to quality primary and emergency care, particularly of rural, adolescent and migrant women. To reach our objective, we created a network of practitioners eager to work together to identify needs by analyzing obstacles to quality care. We then initiated: - Train the trainer programmes in manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) - Rap groups and radio programmes with expert speakers and facilitators in schools, villages and town centres Due to these training and education programmes, hundreds of midwives, obstetric nurses and doctors are now autonomous in bringing improved care to women with pregnancy-related complications. Quantitative evaluation documents a significant decrease in delays for emergency treatment due predominantly to midwife practice of MVA with local anaesthesia. Note that delays in emergency care have been shown to be a prime obstacle to preventing death from postabortion complications. Radio programmes and rap groups with adolescents and women are effective in spreading information about abortion, contraception and a range of sexual issues. In particular, information about IUDs has increased the acceptability of this contraceptive, especially in a rural zone where we have followed about 100 young women whose positive experience is influencing other women. We are currently working to apply this model developed on the border between Gabon, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea to the border between Gabon and Congo-Brazzaville where people face similar realities.