D-tree's Safer Deliveries program empowers, informs and encourages women, with the support of their families, to deliver in health facilities.
It links pregnant women with community health workers (CHWs), community drivers, village savings groups and health facilities.
These connections are supported by the use of digital technology to facilitate better decision making and the co-ordination of resources and support.
digital antenatal & postnatal assistant
Our Community Health Workers are equipped with a dedicated app via which they register all pregnant women in their catchment areas. The app helps the health worker to schedule at least three visits to each client during pregnancy and three after delivery and helps systematise what happens during these visits.
With the support of this app, the CHW:
- Engages husbands and family members in the birth planning process
- Establishes, well in advance, family permissions for a facility delivery
- Screens for danger signs and makes appropriate referrals to the relevant health facility
- Counsels the woman and her family about healthy behaviors during pregnancy
- Supports the woman and her family to save enough money for transportation and other delivery-related expenses
- Links mothers with community drivers who are registered in the program and have agreed to pre-negotiated transport rates
- Maintains contact information for transport options and savings groups in the locality
community savings groups
One key aspect of this program is community engagement and empowerment of women and their families to take responsibility for saving money in advance to pay for transport and other delivery-related expenses at the health facility.
To support this, the program works closely with already-existing community savings groups. Community savings groups have existed for decades throughout Zanzibar and much of the world.
Members meet on a weekly basis and contribute money to the group savings, which are then given out as loans to individual members and repaid over time. Community savings groups in Zanzibar also have a social fund which members also pay into on a weekly basis.
This money is used to help any member in the community in a time of need (for example, during a medical emergency, or to repair the village water pump). Money given out from the social fund is a gift which is not repaid by the recipient.