Building A Scalable Model
For Mobile Maternal Health Care In Rural Senegal

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Diane Powell

Diane is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Co-Founder of the Robertson Powell Foundation. She has lived in North America, Asia and Europe, using her skills in various cultural contexts. She has worked in agency and private practice settings providing psychotherapy for clients struggling with mental health issues.

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9

districts in southern Senegal served by mobile health units

2,766

women and children served by mobile health units

476

antenatal care visits completed

The Issue

Women in rural Senegal often do not receive essential health care services before and after giving birth, contributing to high levels of maternal and infant mortality.

Inaccessibility of healthcare facilities, uneven quality of care, and cultural and religious barriers mean that births in rural Senegal often take place at home where the risk of infection and other complications is high. Less than a third of women attend the recommended number of antenatal care visits, increasing the risks to the health of both mother and her newborn.

Pilot And Learn

This project will test whether introducing mobile clinics into rural areas and linking them to the public health sector can improve the number and timing of antenatal care visits and motivate women to give birth in health facilities.

The mobile clinics will reach remote and rural areas where convenient, quality health services are lacking. By visiting weekly markets, the clinics will integrate into the social fabric of the communities, offering antenatal, postnatal and reproductive health services, as well as infant health monitoring, nutrition care, and vaccinations. Importantly, the clinics will work in tandem with the existing public health network and will play a role in linking expectant mothers to facilities where they can give birth safely. PSI, through its local partner ADEMAS, will recruit and train midwives, work with local partners to reach women with information about the services, and test a transport model by contracting with local taxis to bring women to facilities for delivery.

Leverage And Scale

This model presents an opportunity for thousands of Senegalese women living in remote regions to have access to maternal and child health services, information, and products.

A successful mobile model can become a sustainable and scalable part of Senegal’s strategy to offer universal health coverage, integrating with the country’s growing system of community based health insurance providers. This investment in testing and monitoring the model will serve as the “seed capital” for a new approach to achieving Senegal’s national health goals, with the aim to attract both domestic and international donor support in the scaling up phase. By sharing lessons and evidence from the project nationally and globally, the project will inform and offer solutions to other maternal health programs in Senegal and beyond.

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