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CRS` Community Health Accomplishments


CRS' midwife training in the Honduran province of Intibuca has reduced maternal deaths by 40 percent.

CRS' midwife training in the Honduran province of Intibuca has reduced maternal deaths by 40 percent.

Catholic Relief Services works in 95 communities in the Honduran province of Intibuca where geographical barriers such as mountains and high poverty have made it difficult and often impossible for people to access health care. Approximately 85 percent of the population performs home births with traditional birth attendants (midwives) who have no formal education. Because women historically don't get care before or after a birth, death and illness often occur.

CRS partnered with The American College of Midwives and Nurses, and the Honduran Ministry of Health to develop a program for traditional birth attendants (TBAs) or midwives in rural areas. The program teaches TBAs how to safely attend births, and how to recognize complications during and after pregnancy.

The program has been a success. All of the TBAs in the 95 communities of Intibuca have received training and nearly all of the mothers in the region are now receiving prenatal care. These improvements and more have reduced maternal deaths by a staggering 40 percent.

The Philippines

CRS works in Maguindanao, a province in The Philippines that has been affected by decades of violent armed conflicts between rebel groups and the national government. This conflict has also caused major disruptions in health services. Prior to the arrival of CRS, the region's child death rate was double that of the Philippines national average.

CRS works with the Philippines Department of Health and KFI (Kadtuntaya Foundation Inc.), a Muslim non-governmental organization, to decrease child death and illness rates through a child survival project. This project aims to address the principal causes of child mortality by focusing on children under the age of two through the following:

  • Pneumonia case management
  • Diarrhea case management
  • Breastfeeding and nutrition
  • An Expanded Program in Immunization

The Maguindanao Child Survival Project (MCSP) is community-based and aims to achieve a long-lasting impact through the following strategies: community level health education, health mobilization, capacity building and the building of private/public partnerships between CRS, KFI and the Philippine Integrated Provincial Health Office.

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