We Deliver Scalable and Sustainable Solutions
Achieving skilled attendance at every birth has emerged as a global priority, and more and more women are now delivering in healthcare facilities. However, the challenge to ensure every woman has access to a safe delivery remains, and is particularly acute in remote, rural areas around the world.
The "Network of Safety" model is uniquely positioned to overcome this gap. With this model, we address the barriers that limit access to quality maternal and neonatal healthcare services at all levels of the existing local healthcare infrastructure. Our community-based programs build a network of properly equipped and staffed health facilities and train local healthcare providers to ensure quality maternal and newborn health care. Our model is based on the integration of local resources and a respect for cultural norms and practices. One Heart World-Wide does not establish a parallel healthcare system but strives to strengthen existing governmental and local capacity. The Network of Safety aligns itself with local governmental priorities and policies, and is endorsed at the national, regional and local level.
Our holistic approach is simple, effective, replicable and sustainable. We improve access to healthcare services, ensuring the wellbeing of the most vulnerable pregnant women and newborns that may otherwise not have access to medical or public healthcare services. We empower local communities to become the drivers of innovation and systemic change and to be accountable for long-term progress and sustainability in their own communities.
the network of safety's six essential elements
At the center of our model is the expectant mother and her newborn. They are the reason we are so passionately committed to the work we do. To best support them, our programs strive to strengthen their local network.
We teach families how to support healthy pregnancies, prepare for birth, recognize danger signs when they arise, and respond appropriately to potential problems with the pregnancy.
SKILLED BIRTH ATTENDANTS
We provide scholarships and medical equipment for nurses to receive advanced training in obstetrics and immediate neonatal care. The trainings include instruction on comprehensive antenatal care, and recognizing and managing pregnancy danger signs and complications. The SBAs are employed in government-certified birthing centers after completion of the courses.
OHW integrates and empowers local stakeholders to become the drivers of change. Through community engagement activities, focus groups, collaboration with women's groups and religious leaders, we integrate community entrepreneurs at the grassroots level to design, implement, and sustain the program.
We work with the Ministry of Health to implement their maternal child health programs and help to build healthcare infrastructure and increase access to a skilled provider. This ensures that OHW does not establish a parallel healthcare system but strengthens existing governmental capacity.
Along with our partners, we train female community health volunteers to reach out directly to women and their families, including enrolling women in prenatal care, recognizing and responding to danger signs, and referring expectant mothers to skilled birth attendants.
Our program creates a network of functioning facilities, and assists with provision of medical equipment, infrastructure and staffing. We upgrade both first level of care facilities (health posts) and referral hospitals so that they have the necessary equiment and capacity to provide appropriate obstetrical services.
Implementation of the Network of Safety
The overall plan of action to implement the Network of Safety includes six month of program set-up (phase 1), 3 years of full program implementation (phase 2), followed by 2 years of support and transition to the local government (phase 3). During these 5 and ½ years, OHW creates a self-sustaining Network of Safety for women and newborns from the community to the referral hospital and from pregnancy to the post-natal period. In collaboration with local health departments and stakeholders, we build local capacity, expand the outreach of existing healthcare infrastructure, and improve government-supported health services. We provide health education to communities and health providers and integrate information technology into medical service provision. After the programs are fully implemented, they are transitioned to the local government.
Over the last 5 years, One Heart World-Wide has successfully shared the Network of Safety with several other organizations around the world. We have provided technical assistance to programs in China, Ecuador, Liberia, Mexico and Peru. Our focus now is to scale our model in Nepal. There are 35 under-served districts in Nepal that need help in the area of maternal and neonatal health. We are currently implementing the Network of Safety in five districts, are adding four districts in 2016, and another two to four districts each following year, ultimately covering all 35 districts in need.