ABOUT THE PROJECT
The MISSION 1000 Project is the implementation of health mediation in the environment of socially disadvantaged communities, which focuses on the key 1000 days from the conception of a child. Interventions are carried out at home or in a hospital by trained volunteers- midwives. Midwives come from the community, spread awareness among pregnant women and mothers, provide support, mediate women, and health care providers, help with prenatal care as well as care for the new-born infants and toddler.
We are building community centres for providing care for pregnant women during their stay in the maternity hospital and after discharge:
- Preparing and supporting future mothers, increasing their awareness and competencies, stimulating their interest positively affects their situation and ultimately the health of the baby. The benefits of providing counselling to mothers and pregnant women, group education for parents and early interventions exceed the input costs. Cases of unpleasant experiences in maternity hospitals are often the result of mutual misunderstandings on the part of mothers and staff which is caused by language barriers or social and societal difference. However, the direct involvement of women from communities and health professionals creates space for an individual approach and overcoming barriers.
- We started implementing activities in September 2019. We gradually started to implement the project in five locations around the hospital in Spišská Nová Ves: Vilčurňa, Smižany, Rudňany, Markušovce and Hrabušice. The midwives carry out these activities with girls, pregnant women and mothers in the home and hospital environment, in the hospital in Spišská Nová Ves, where the midwives work in the gynecology – the paediatric and OBGYN wards. As part of their activities, midwives cooperate with healthcare providers, municipalities, community centres and social workers.
- The Mission 1000 Project builds on almost two decades of our successful development of health mediation in marginalised communities in the Healthy Communities (Zdravé komunity) and Together for Better Health and Fieldwork (Spoločne za lepšie zdravie a práce v teréne) projects, which resulted in the implementation of the Healthy Communities national project. We build on our successful model of raising health levels through health education assistants who come directly from the community. Knowledge of the field and location, support of the mentor and cooperation with doctors and nurses offers a relevant view on solving individual challenges of clients.
Midwives — build bridges:
- The project includes women — midwives who come from the selected location. They are motivated to help their community “from the inside”. They come from the same environment as the clients, so they understand the cultural and social conditions, they know the family ties and last but not least, the possibilities and limitations in the location. Thanks to specialised education, midwives are able in the environment in which they work, to provide the necessary information for the health and care of a pregnant woman, the health and care of a new-born infants and a child under 3 years of age. They provide clients with information about possible health problems, about adequate self-care for during their pregnancy, about taking care of new-born infants and children with regard to the client’s real possibilities. Thanks to the intensive field work of midwives, we are able to identify families in need and devote increased effort and resources to them.
- Midwives work as volunteers, improve their personal competencies, improve education and increase health literacy and preparation for the labour market. They are the bearer and tool of change. They build bridges and space for dialogue that can change the views and attitudes of community residents and healthcare providers. Through the implementation of awareness-raising activities, health education and personal examples, they have the opportunity and space to change the view of the community and individuals on the perception of health.
The availability and quality of care during pregnancy and early childhood are crucial for the life of children:
- The focus of health mediation on this specific target group is exceptional and provides an effective way how to help hard-to-reach communities from the inside. The use of healthcare in marginalised communities is significantly below-average compared to the majority population and the availability of healthcare centres (especially gynecology clinics) is problematic. The challenges related to the effects of generational poverty, social and geographical segregation are taking their toll. However, investing in people at an early age has a higher return than investing in later period of life.
Thanks to partners:
- The Mission 1000 Project has been prepared and is being implemented under the Together for Better Health (Spoločne za lepšie zdravie) program, thanks to financial support from GlaxoSmithKline Services Unlimited. We thank the Penta Foundation and the World Health Hospital in Spišská Nová Ves for their cooperation and support in stabilizing and developing the project.