The USAID-funded project, Pakistan Initiatives for Mothers and Newborns (Paiman) saved more than 30,000 newborn babies by reducing neonatal mortality rate by 23 percent through a replicable model of interventions in the last six years, said Dr. Nabeela Ali, Chief of Party Piaman.
“The project has been implemented in 24 districts of all provinces including AJK, two agencies of Fata,” she told a news conference arranged as part of the projects’ results dissemination ceremony. Paiman project was initiated in October 2004 and will conclude on December 31, 2010.
Director General Health Rashid Jooma and Deputy USAID Mission Director Denise Herbol were also present on the occasion.
Dr. Nabeela Ali briefed various aspects of the Paiman project that benefited 5.7 million beneficiaries including women, their families, and the health care providers who serve them in some of the remotest areas of the country including Upper Dir, Buner, Dera Ghazi Khan, Lasbela, and Gwader.
She said that the results obtained from an end-line evaluation conducted under PAIMAN in 10 districts revealed an overall increase of 27 per cent births attended by skilled health providers — an indicator that is acknowledged internationally to significantly reduce chances of mothers and newborns dying during delivery or the postpartum period.
She said the antenatal check-ups during pregnancy increased 29 per cent while the postnatal care within 24 hours increased by 33 per cent. The treatment of pregnant women with two tetanus toxoid shots increased from 48 per cent at baseline to 56 per cent at end line.
The project’s publicity penetrated into 70 per cent targeted population of those having mass media access with significant behaviour improvements.
The project, she said was focused on specific districts, but many of its interventions had national impact including capacity building of managers, advocacy for mothers’ health and mass media initiatives. Paiman broadcasted more than 36 hours of TV and radio programmes aimed at improving knowledge and attitudes about mother and child health problems. The project empowered 2,200 young women to become community midwifes and provide skilled health services to mothers and children besides earning income for themselves and their families.
This was in addition to training 11,057 lady health workers in communication skills and group counselling and 5,262 staff of various health facilities in providing skilled care to women and children. Furthermore, the project upgraded 57 training facilities including midwifery schools and renovated and upgraded 89 health facilities.
Dr. Nabeela concluded that Paiman had measurably impacted the health of mothers and newborns in its 24 districts and had left staff trained in essential maternal and newborn skills.
She advised the federal and provincial health ministries to scale up the Paiman model to all districts in Pakistan so that mothers and newborns nationwide can receive the same health benefits.
She lauded the generous support of the American people through USAID for the healthcare of Pakistan’s women and children.