RHCI's Positive Impact in Sierra Leone
Rural Health Care Initiative (RHCI) is GFH's partner in Sierra Leone. Their mission: "to partner with rural communities in Sierra Leone in redeveloping health care systems...to overcome one of the highest maternal and child mortality rates in the world." Their team has conducted rigorous program evaluations in the last year to evaluate progress toward this mission and identify the secrets of their success. There were Zero maternal deaths at their two Maternity Waiting Homes in the last fiscal year, a remarkable accomplishment!
RHCI recently completed a series of program evaluations led by board member Julie Hoffer, an epidemiologist from the Minnesota Department of Health, and Sheila Leatherman at the University of North Carolina School of RHCI Public Health. They collaborated with community members in four key area to assess effectiveness and areas for improvement:
1. Birth Waiting Home qualitative interviews of birthing women before and after childbirth
2. Mobile Outreach Clinic, including malnutrition and family planning programs
3. Stakeholders’ survey of community members and leaders
4. Staff survey (to be completed soon).
Dr. Hoffer also collects data every month from RHCI program coordinators in Sierra Leone and sends a report to the Ministry of Health, the RHCI Board and other stakeholders.
Conclusion: RHCI’s core programs are highly successful and valued by all Sierra Leonean stakeholders, including mothers interviewed after using their services.
We’re grateful to Network Partner Dr. Carol Nelson, RHCI Program Director for sharing their evaluation model. She encourages the Compassionate Birth Network to partner with schools of Public Health to conduct meaningful data collection on program efficacy. Congratulations and heartfelt thanks for your work and for sharing it publicly!