News Column

World Bank to Help Reduce High Rates of Maternal and Child Mortality in Chad

June 17, 2014



The World Bank'sBoard of Executive Directors has just approved a project of potentially lifesaving services maternal and children health which will contribute in complementing Government efforts to address the country's relatively high maternal and child mortality rates.

The new grant financing of nearly US$21 million for the Chad Mother and Child Health Services Strengthening Project consists of a US$15.79 million IDA* grant, plus a US$ 5 million grant from the multi-donor innovative Health Results Based Financing (RBF) Trust Fund, supported by the United Kingdom and Norway. The grants will help accelerate progress towards some of the Millennium Development Goals on maternal and child health.

The project will target a total of 12 health districts in five regions: Batha, Guera, Logone Oriental, Mandoul and Tandjile, which are home to a total of over 2 million people, and have very weak maternal and child health indicators.

Every year, over 400,000 women ready for motherhood and approximately 65,000 infants are expected to benefit from better health services under this project with access to essential services such as antenatal care during pregnancy, deliveries assisted by skilled health personnel, and complete immunization for infants (including vaccines for diseases such as polio, tuberculosis, and diphtheria).

The project will also help build capacity in Chad for supervision and management of service delivery, and for the extension of community-based health services, which will also help address malnutrition. Chad's maternal mortality rate is the highest in Central Africa, and immunization of children is very low with a declining trend since 2001.

"Pregnancies are generally life-threatening for women in Chad, especially those living in poor, remote areas without easy access to health services. Moreover, too many children still die from preventable diseases such as malaria, diarrhea or other respiratory diseases," said Adama Coulibaly, World Bank Country Manager for Chad.

"With its focus on results and performance, this project will improve women's access to lifesaving health services for themselves, their children and families. It will not only help strengthen Chad's health system but also the economy as a whole since a healthier labor force will lead to an active economy in the long run."

The project will support health facilities based on the quantity and quality of maternal and child health services delivered to the targeted population. Facilities located in remote areas will receive additional bonuses. Non-governmental organizations will play an important role by serving as purchasing and verification agents. In particular, they will verify service quality.

"This "performance-based financing (PBF)" approach, which incentivizes health facilities to deliver quality health services, has already been piloted in Chad with promising early results, and we will continue to evaluate it rigorously as the project expands across several districts," said Aissatou Diack, World Bank Task Team Leader for this Project.


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Source: AllAfrica


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