Chamas for Change: Validating an integrated community-based strategy of peer support in pregnancy and infancy
Often faced with financial, nutritional and political insecurities, the majority of women struggle to care for their own and their children's health. To address this, we developed a peer-support model that groups pregnant women together in the same community to receive maternal and child health services, called Chama cha MamaToto (chamas). Central to our approach is the integration of health, social and financial literacy education with a savings/loans program. Having demonstrated feasibility and sustainability of the program through an earlier Saving Lives at Birth grant, we now aim to validate the success of this intervention in a new site. Implementing chamas in a population of 800,000 over 2 years, we aim to decrease maternal (MMR), perinatal (PNR), and newborn (NMR) mortality rates by 30%.