Backgrounder: Nine new grants to improve access to sexual and reproductive health services in Africa

April 06, 2017

Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa is contributing $4.5 million in grants as part of Canada’s efforts to improve maternal and child health globally. The funding is helping to scale-up promising interventions and address the need for family-planning education, support for adolescent mothers, and sexual and reproductive health services and information.

The grants will enable nine research teams to achieve the following goals:

Burkina Faso                                                         

Support the government implementation of free national health care for mothers and children under the age of five, approved in April 2016. 
Partners: Société d’études et de recherche en santé publique, Burkina Faso

Ethiopia and Mozambique

Improve the reporting of cause of death in the two countries through the training of health professionals, to help authorities identify gaps in health services affecting mothers and children. 
Partner: St. Michael’s Hospital, Canada


Complement existing efforts to detect and treat perinatal depression with a special focus on adolescents. 
Partner: University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Expand the testing of home visits and educational videos in Bauchi State to include education about child-spacing and contraception. 
Partners: Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations of Nigeria and McGill University, Canada


Train community health workers to provide family planning information and services to adolescents and women in rural areas, through the use of mobile health applications.
Partners: Shirati KMT District Hospital, Tanzania and Bruyère Research Institute, Canada

Strengthen leadership and managerial capacities in the health facilities of Morogoro, as research has shown that gaps in these areas contribute more to mothers dying in childbirth than poverty does.
Partners: Tanzanian Training Centre for International Health and Dalhousie University, Canada

Develop a tablet-based tool to measure quality of care and standardize the information enabling decision-makers to improve maternal and newborn health care in the Mtwara region.
Partner: Ifakara Health Institute, Tanzania

Build the capacity to identify factors within households that influence women’s decisions to seek care, to support the rural roll out of a Ugandan program to improve maternal and child health.
Partners: Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences, Tanzania and Mbarara University, Uganda

Uganda and Kenya

Improve efforts to reduce the deaths of children under the age of five using a gender analysis to identify incentives for women living in fragile contexts to become community health workers.
Partners: BRAC International, Bangladesh and Cape Breton University, Canada

All grants must go through IDRC’s grant administration process before final approval.

About Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa

The Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa initiative seeks to improve maternal, newborn, and child health outcomes by strengthening health systems, using primary healthcare as an entry point. 



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