Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Despite the massive intervention done in Maternal Health, the prevalence of Maternal Mortality and Morbidity has not decreased commensurately. This is partly traceable to (a) Inability of families to afford the cost of attending Health Facilities (b) Long distances between their homes and the Health Facilities (c)Their resort to patronizing the Traditional Birth Attendants (in most cases as a result of the above two reasons). This results to rushing the pregnant woman to the Hospital only when the matter has become complicated and most of them don't survive it. Unfortunately, the services of the Traditional Birth Attendants have not been taken seriously.
The SAFE MATERNAL HEALTH INITIATIVE (SMHI)is therefore designed to do the following:
- Train and strengthen the capacity of the Traditional Birth Attendants on basic midwifery skills as well as other life saving skills to reduce Maternal, Neo-Natal and infant mortality and morbidity.
- Provide the Trained Traditional Birth Attendants with simple Reporting Tools with which they would provide periodical report of their activities
- Get the Trained Traditional Birth Attendants who passed in the training registered or Accredited with the Ministry of Health to accord them recognition and enable the Ministry to supervise them. Their names and addresses should also be published and circulated in the local communities.
- Link them with the Community Health Extension Unit which will provide Monitoring and Supervision oversight.
- The project would also initiate an effort to encourage the Government to make a Policy on the practice of the Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) in which the TBAs would be required to invite any nearest Midwife before taking delivery.
- The Policy must also specify that the pregnant woman must also show her Ante Natal Clinic Card to the TBA before the TBA could takes her delivery.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The primary problem this project would address is Maternal mortality and morbidity as well as Neo-Natal and infant mortality arising from poor handling of pregnancy related issues and delivery. It would also address the issue of maternal mortality and morbidity arising from ignorance and poverty.
About You
Section 1: About You
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Are you an individual between the ages of 18 and 35 who would like to apply for a nine month Young Champions Program mentored by an Ashoka Fellow?


Section 2: About Your Organization
Organization Name


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Organization Address


Organization Country

, AN

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Your idea
Country your work focuses on

, AN

Website URL


What makes your idea unique?

This idea is unique in the sense that no matter how much you encourage the pregnant women to patronize the Health Facility, there are still those that would either prefer to rather patronize the Traditional Birth Attendants or circumstances would constrain them to patronize the TBAs. The uniqueness of this Project therefore is whether the pregnant woman visits the TBA by either design or circumstantially, there is the possibility of obtaining a better service since the TBA is now better equipped to take delivery (together with a midwife). This is in view of the enormous role of the Traditional Birth Attendants because even most of the Rural Health Facilities are poorly equipped and as such going there does not in any way guarantee safety or qualitative health care service.

Do you have a patent for this idea?

What impact have you had?

The project is a new one which is yet to commence. It is my pet project which I decided to pursue following my completion of the Emerging Leaders Development Programme.
The expected impact would be to drive Maternal Health home making it both available and affordable.


The Safe Maternal Health Initiative would do mapping of the Traditional Birth Attendants in the selected communities and would extend it to other communities through the involvement of the Government or Development Partners.
The Project would also engage with strategic Stakeholders for collaboration and leveraging of resources.
The organisation would also initiate and conduct baseline survey to determine the extent to which this Initiative would be relevant to Maternal Health problems.
The organisation would also take steps to organise systematic training and capacity building for the TBAs.
It would also continue to engage with the TBAs and the local communities, thereby institutionalising it to the Local Communities for ownership.


The expected results would include:
- Well organized and institutionalized TBAs Services
- Reduced Maternal mortality and morbidity in the Communities
- Healthy community through efficient Primary health care delivery.

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 it will take the following:
1. Government and Stakeholders Acceptance and collaboration
2. Resources - Which would be used in the training and Capacity building
3. Resources - in the way Logistics for the Community Health Extension Workers to do the supervision and monitoring
4. Willingness of the TBAs themselves to buy the idea by coming out and embracing the project.
I did't put figures since this is not supposed to be a budget.
1. It would also take sustained sensitization
2. It would also take resources to manage the data that would be generated
3. It would also require the maintenance of the structures established

What would prevent your project from being a success?

The possible setbacks would include:
1. Government and Stakeholders apathy - that is, their failure to recognize the TBAs and the services they render. They may feel that recognizing them would amount to promoting quacks.
2. The apathy of the TBAs themselves - They may not come out, thinking that government wants to take their jobs away from them.
3. The midwives might be reluctant to co-operate in the understanding that the TBAs are usurping their jobs.
4. There is the possibility of pregnant women patronizing unrecognized TBAs either as a result of proximity, emergency or reduced fees.

How many people will your project serve annually?


What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

$50 - 100

Does your project seek to have an impact on public policy?


What stage is your project in?

Idea phase

Is your initiative connected to an established organization?


If yes, provide organization name.


How long has this organization been operating?

More than 5 years

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?

Does your organization have a non-monetary partnerships with NGOs?


Does your organization have a non-monetary partnerships with businesses?


Does your organization have a non-monetary partnerships with government?


Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

These partnerships are critical to the success of this innovation because the partners are also critical Stakeholders in the innovation.
The project needs the massive collaboration for its success. We need to engage extensively with relevant stakeholders to achieve a robust primary health care delivery.
Another good story is that the Initiative affects everybody and therefore everybody is essentially a stakeholder. Nobody would like his/her relation to be a victim of an avoidable death.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization?

1. Getting the consent and collaboration of the Government as well as other Stakeholders through Registration.
2. Getting the resources to implement the Initiative.
3. Putting in place a sound sustainability plan as well as monitoring and evaluation.

The Story
What was the defining moment that you led to this innovation?

The defining moment was during our lectures at the Emerging Leaders Development Programme (ELDP) where we were presented with astonishing statistics of Maternal mortality and morbidity. This appealed to my conscience and I started thinking of what to do to stem the tide. It was also discovered that the the greater percentage of those deaths were from developing countries and amongst the rural poor communities. It was also pointed out that most of these deaths were as a result of mishandling pregnancies and non attendance of recognised Health facilities. I then came up with this idea, that since the rural women patronize the Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) more than the Health Facilities, there is need to strengthen the Traditional Birth Attendants Institution. [The Emerging Leaders Development Programme (ELDP) was funded by Mac Arthur Foundation and implemented by the Pathfinder International, Nigeria].

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

The social innovator behind this idea is me and my believe that no matter how you encourage pregnant women to attend Health clinics, some would still resolve to visiting the Traditional Birth Attendants. This is borne out of their strong believe in the traditional and cultural institutions. This project addresses this believe and mentality in that it seeks to strengthen the capacity of those traditional institutions so that they would also be able to deliverf qualitative health care services. By this, therefore, no matter the choice or preference of the the Pregnant woman, that is, either to patronize the Health Facility or the Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs), she would still obtain quality health care since the TBAs have been trained and empowered.

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Please select

If through another, please provide the name of the organization or company

Through the Emerging Leaders Development Programme (ELDP) Network