Community Education and Mobilization
Midwife means “with woman”, wherever she may be. In many parts of the world, women lack access to a skilled provider who can respond to health emergencies; women are often unable to leave their communities for any number of socio-cultural, economic and gender equity reasons. In response to this reality, ACNM developed Home Based Life Saving Skills (HBLSS) as the community level counterpart to its flagship program, Life Saving Skills (LSS). HBLSS is a community education and mobilization program and methodology specifically designed for non-literate or low literacy populations. HBLSS was born out of collective decades of work in both villages and health centers across the globe. The curriculum, through a series of community meetings, focuses on participant experience with recognizing obstetric and neonatal problems. Building on this recognition, participants learn to relate cause and effect through community facilitators who demonstrate how the trained health care worker can respond to such problems. The community then negotiates and agrees on actions that can be taken by the family and community, including obstetric first aid skills and rapid referral. HBLSS has been implemented in more than twenty countries, leading to large increases in facility based births and referrals from rural communities to higher levels of care. The eloquent methodology developed for HBLSS can be adapted to nearly any topic in nearly any context. For additional information on DGO's approach to community education and mobilization please click here.