We already have a strong system of user involvement and accountability in our health project areas, but for this project we are going to pay particular attention to the opinions of the intended target group – young fathers and mothers.
We will ensure that the groups sessions are set up in such a way that men find it enjoyable and not embarrassing to attend, and will also ask women what they think their husbands should know.
We are also going to keep a control area, to check on the actual impact of the intervention.
The intervention will almost certainly consist of a serious of group meetings with 3-4 different topics, spread throughout the year, which will allow all expectant fathers to attend at least 1 or 2 during the pregnancy.
Health workers will actively seek out the husbands of pregnant women to ensure good participation.
We will also use peer educators to increase acceptability and attendance rates.
We expect that compared to before – and compared to the control area – in the communities where we have implemented the health education intervention the following output indicators will have improved:
1. Number of antenatal visits attended on average by pregnant women (double number of women who attend more than three times)
2. Numbers of deliveries attended by skilled health worker (increase by 50%)
3. Immediate and exclusive breastfeeding (increase by 10%)
4. Elimination of harmful practices such as early bathing of the newborn. (decrease by 50%)
We also expect a positive impact on the time given to young mothers to rest after childbirth and hygiene practices after childbirth.
What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.
In the first year we will aim to do some baseline assessments of fathers’ knowledge about pregnancy and childbirth, will run focus groups to collect ideas of what any health education training should include and start the first pilot groups.
In order to achieve success, we need to engage the communities, particularly local opinion leaders, and to train our staff well.
In the second year, we are hoping to consolidate the education sessions and train more staff and peer educators in delivering them.
In order to be successful we need to find motivated peer educators and need to have an acceptably low staff turnover.
In the third year, we will be able to run the programme as a routine part of PHASE health programmes in more communities and will collect results.
For success, we need ongoing sufficient funding and political stability to be able to work as planned.
What would prevent your project from being a success?
the main serious threats to success would be a major political upheaval which would prevent us from continuing to work in the area or at least prevent our senior health staff from travelling.
Opposition from local opinion leaders could also affect the success of the programme.