An aspect of building capacity is the provision of equipment such as consumables, fetal monitoring, phototherapy machine, echography machine, revival equipment, and others, which will help local clinics replace their failing equipment and prepare them for increased patients as they seek to service more mothers. The donation of equipment will be complemented by training in quality assurance and maintenance of the material to ensure its proper use, as well as to develop the skills of local health workers.
Performance incentive is recommended as we plan to develop an outreach team that will spend time in the community doing preventive and awareness education. In a context of high poverty such as DRC, a financial incentive can greatly motivate the workforce when effectively applied. Further, the financial incentive serves as a form of appreciation to the outreach team while they are out educating and recruiting potential candidates for the voucher program.
The outreach will serve to inform the population on the prenatal services provided by Elaka and its local partners and how they can benefit from it. For the community, the outreach will help educate on common maternal risks, habits that help to reduce pregnancy-related risks, the voucher program, how to access it, and other available tools. Additionally, community outreach/education can serve as a means to teach the importance of preventive care and timely follow-up.
Based on the financial barrier expressed by mothers during the needs assessment that we conducted, and the difficulties that clinics experience in reaching more members of the community, an intervention to close this gap is needed. The voucher program will subsidize part of the user fees for prenatal care and make the clinic’s services more accessible to the population at large.