In 2009, Rural Support Programmes Network (RSPN) entered into Partnership with UNICEF to develop a community based model for introducing integrated health interventions in remote rural communities in twelve districts of Pakistan.
The objective of the project was“To help reduce IMR & MMR in target communities through integrated community based health interventions” with the purpose to:
Develop a community channel for dissemination of messages & supplies
Educate community on various preventive mother & child health care messages
Extending the outreach of health department in non served areas (immunization, TT vaccination & deworming)
The community based approach opted by RSPN in the project and involved 8000 volunteers (Men & Women of reproductive age) who were trained in social mobilisation, community level session delivery, health education, communication and group meeting methodology. RSPN through partner RSPs accessed 2.2 million rural communities and bridged the gap between public sector service delivery and rural communities. Through the project there were 0.66 million men and women were oriented /educated in 12 districts of Pakistan. The reproductive age group was educated in antenatal care, natal and post natal care, use of clean delivery kit; danger signs during pregnancy, delivery and post delivery, danger signs in newborn, immunisation, diarrhea and pneumonia, breast feeding and birth spacing and use of iodine. Pregnant women (0.076million) were provided TT services and 0.33 million children in the age of 0-2 year were provided routine immunisation services while 0.26 million children in the age of 2-5 years were provided deworming tablets with technical support of concerned health department.
RSPs during implementation involved all stake holders at district level, Tehsil level and union council level to make it a success and community stakeholders like Imams played a vital role in advocacy campaign. School children were also involved and sensitized in health and hygiene by conducting group sessions in the schools. Presently there are a lot of social mobilisers who were trained as master trainers are available in all twelve districts of Pakistan to take the cause further. The initial phase of the project has been completed and the planning for the second phase is in progress in consultation with all district level stakeholders especially health department.
RSPN major role in the project was to build the capacity of RSPs in financial and program management. The capacity building of human resource was the second role of RSPN and monitoring of the project activities in the target districts were also paid by the RSPN in its true spirit which is evident from the success and extension of the project for further replication. This intervention also strengthened the core program and increased the outreach of the RSPs.