iLembe District Child Survival Project
Location: iLembe District, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
Partners: South African Department of Health
The iLembe District Child Survival Project supported the efforts of the KwaZulu Natal Provincial and iLembe District Department of Health (DOH) to improve the health status of children under 5, women of reproductive age and HIV/AIDS-affected individuals and households. It was designed to strengthen the front-line programs of the District DOH to reduce the burden of disease by Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI) protocols as well as Community prevention of transmission from mother to child (PMTCT) interventions and improved reproductive health practices. To promote improved health and nutrition among mothers, women of reproductive age and newborns, MCDI increased the proportion of pregnant women who registered for antenatal care during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy from 32% to 50% and improved post-natal care by increasing the number of home visits to mothers 3 days after delivery by 15%.
MCDI's IMCI interventions encouraged families to apply Key Family Practices that are appropriate for the iLembe District with a particular focus on care for infant diarrhea, improved prenatal care and update of Voluntary Counseling and Treatment (VCT) and PMTCT services. To improve PMTCT services, MCDI streamlined an HIV-Positive Mothers Support Group and Birth Companion Programs to support new mothers who may be HIV-positive. Additionally, during prenatal screenings, HIV positive pregnant women and mothers were encouraged to participate in routine CD4 (white blood cell) count testing.
Throughout the lifetime of the project, an estimated 69,422 children under 5 and 150,533 women ages 15-49 benefited from program activities.