Health and Nutrition

We ensure sustained access to life-saving maternal, newborn and child health and nutrition services.

Sub-themes: Maternal, newborn and reproductive health; Child health; Infant, young child and maternal nutrition; Adolescent sexual and reproductive health; Clinical services (humanitarian); WASH and HIV and AIDS.

Save the Children works in partnership with the Ministry of Health, local government, district health officers; NGOs like UNICEF, WHO, Uganda Red Cross; local professional bodies and corporate organizations to promote the right to health and nutrition of pregnant mothers and children in Uganda.

In order to achieve our health goals of elimination of preventable newborn and under-five deaths, reduced maternal mortality and improved adolescent sexual and reproductive health outcomes, through our health and nutrition programme we target increasing facility deliveries, equitable service access through providing transport vouchers to expectant mothers, community ambulances and infrastructure improvement; community mobilization using the community action cycle and quality improvement approaches. In regards to adolescent reproductive and sexual health, we empower in and out-of-school youth with information and skills through comprehensive sexuality education, economic empowerment, linkage to services, community mobilization and promoting model parenting.

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Save the Children’s work in health seeks to deliver evidence-based high-quality programmes that reach the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children in both development and emergency settings. We use a life-cycle approach in addressing the health needs of individuals and communities while enhancing their participation (through the community action cycle and partner defined quality approaches) and strengthening systems to be more accountable and responsive to these needs.

Save the Children has championed the health of newborns in Uganda since 2006. By working with the Ministry of Health and academic institutions to generate local evidence to inform policy and programme practice, Uganda now has a newborn research agenda. We work with districts to generate quality data to inform planning and quality improvement efforts at facility level for children, adolescents and mothers.

Innovation is at the center of our work, leading to low-cost, district-focused and community-based locally contextualised approaches that empower both service providers and communities to act to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality.

Our holistic approach in addressing children’s needsnot only sees us ensuring geographical convergence but is also demonstrated in our efforts to leverage existing platforms like maternal, newborn and child health to strengthen early childhood care and development and school health and nutrition to address issues affecting  adolescents, especially the very young adolescents, focusing on participation and linkages to friendly health services and community structures to influence male involvement.          

Over the last 10 years, Save the Children has made significant contributions in health at all levels in Uganda.

·         Working with Ministry of Health leadership and key partners, a very active National Newborn Steering committee is functional. Through this platform key policies and guidelines like the National Newborn standards have been developed.

·         With Makerere University School of Public Health, Uganda as a Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health research, a national newborn research agenda has been set for continuous evidence generation and a robust website is in place as a repository for open access to local and international evidence, tools and guidelines for maternal, newborn and child health. This is the first center of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa.

·         Through the Saving Newborn Lives programme, Save the Children has demonstrated a regional model for delivery of quality care for mothers and newborns, the Regional Learning Network in Hoima region.

·         The Regional Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) scorecard, a tool for evidence decision making and accountability has been rolled out in all 12 districts of Hoima, Masindi, Kiryandongo, Buliisa, Kiboga, kyankwanzi, Ntoroko, Bundibugyo, Kasese, Kampala, Wakiso amd Mukono.

·         In Ntoroko district, facility delivery rates improved from 33.8% (2015) to 63.6% in 2016 and no maternal deaths were registered.

·         Overall national ranking in the league table for all the three districts significantly improved in 2016 compared to 2015; Ntoroko from 86th to 22nd, Bundibugyo from 52 and to 49th and Kasese from 65th to 59th.

A mother who had her baby with the help of a skilled health worker in Ntoroko district.