Assessment of the Challenges and Outcomes of Empowerment Strategies to Improve Maternal and Child Health (The Case of Haik Health Center)

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Addis Ababa University


The main objective of this study is to assess the major outcomes and the challenges that hinder the effectiveness of empowerment strategies to improve maternal and child health. The study also investigated the measures taken to empower the community and also find out the possible challenges that may hinder the effective implementation of the empowerment strategies. Moreover, it also assesses the attitude of the community towards the empowerment strategies. To this end, different policy documents, organizational reports and published and unpublished materials were reviewed. 42 health professionals working on maternal and child health issues in the health center filled questionnaires using census sampling method and 88 mothers who use service of the health center have filled questionnaires by convenience sampling technique. Maternal officer, child officer and head of the health center were interviewed using structured questions. Descriptive research design is also used in this research. The findings of the study revealed that, there are great measures taken by the government and health professionals to empower the community to use maternal and child care services. These measures are organizing women in to health development army (HDA) group, organizing women conference to provide information and making maternal and child care services free of charge. These measures brought about a major outcome in the health of mothers and newborns, increase health care coverage and significant reduction in maternal and child death. However, there are still challenges that hinder the full achievement of the empowerment strategies. These problems are the top down approach of the policy without the involvement of community groups, socio-cultural beliefs and perceptions, low educational level of women, less support of men partners and shortage of necessary logistics and qualified and experienced health professionals. To solve the above mentioned and other related problems, the researcher suggested some measures to be taken. These are; equip the health center with the necessary materials and qualified health professionals, increase the knowledge of women by supporting women education and giving trainings regularly, strengthen HDAs and different community associations, providing proper and long term training for health professionals, giving a great emphasis for community participation in designing and implementation of health policies and empower not only the community but also health professionals



Empowerment strategies