184897 A regional approach to health – the AWARE-RH project

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Jeanne Rideout, MPH , AWARE-RH / EngenderHealth, New York, NY
Isaiah Ndong, MD , EngenderHealth, New York, NY
Kerry Bruce, MPH, MA , Quality Health Partners / EngenderHealth, Accra, Ghana
Bethany Cole, MPH , EngenderHealth, New York, NY
Background: The Action for the West Africa Region, Reproductive Health (AWARE-RH) project is a 5-year regional health project funded by USAID. West Africa's poor maternal and child health, high mortality rates, rapid population growth, and increasing rates of HIV and AIDS are direct results of people's limited access to health care and the low quality of services.

Intervention: With technical support from the AWARE-RH Project, West African regional health institutions and networks worked to improve their technical, leadership, and management capacity to respond to the health needs of West Africans. Using an approach that focused on evidence-based, promising practices that had the potential for the greatest impact and long term sustainability, AWARE-RH chose five models. At the same time, the project decided to focus its field level activities in eight USAID “non-presence” countries.

Results: Five key best practices (Emergency Obstetric Care, PMTCT, Child Survival (IMCI), Commodity Support for Family Planning and Development and Growth of Mutual Health Organizations) were implemented in a selection of West African countries. The technical support and partnering with governments and other donors on the ground, led to substantial capacity building in these technical areas and ownership of the interventions that will sustain their impact beyond the end of AWARE-RH in 2008.

Conclusions: A regional approach for evidence-based best practices that assesses and implements key interventions according to the need of the host country governments is a model for successful in-depth capacity building.

Learning Objectives:
1. Understand the advantages of a regional best practices approach for West Africa

Keywords: Reproductive Health, Family Planning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I worked closely with the AWARE-RH program during the last year of implementation to support the documentation and evaluation of their success.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.