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Maternal & Child Health Services

The Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Service works in partnership with families to care for babies and children until they start school. It is a free service that includes visits by a local maternal and child health nurse at 10 key ages and stages in a child’s development. Additional visits are offered as well as first time parenting groups and links to local community activities and support services.

 

Our maternal and child health services are community-based designed to enhance maternal and child outcomes by providing antepartum services in addition to the traditional postpartum care women receive through public health facilities.  In collaboration with government health centers, we target pregnant women in remote hard to reach areas. Nurses on Bikes conduct one-on-one home visits, from pregnancy and until the child is three and half years. During the visits, nurses focus on parent education, nutrition, sexual health, family planning, maternal health and well-being, family relationships and child development. They also link families to other specialized care when needed.

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What Maternal and Child Health Services offer

Maternal and child health nurses work with families to help them care for their children until they are ready to start school. 

A maternal and child health nurse visits at 10 key ages and stages in a child’s development.

These visits help identify any issues and concerns so that steps can be taken in early childhood to deal with them.

Maternal and child health Nurses on a Bike:

  • give information, support, and advice on a variety of topics (including parenting, development and learning, child health, family health and wellbeing, safety, immunization, breastfeeding, nutrition, and family planning)

  • monitor a child’s growth and development in a series of one-on-one consultations at specific times in a child’s early years

  • help with sleeping, feeding, and behavior problems

  • organize parents’ groups where parents can get information and have the chance to meet other parents in the local area

  • advise parents about other local support services

  • organize additional activities based on a family’s needs (for example, arranging special home visits when one is unable to visit a center)

  • help to contact special services if necessary (such as early parenting groups)

  • offer additional support and services to families experiencing difficulties.

First contact with a family for the service

The community health workers refer pregnant women to a maternal and child health nurse for support or after the community health worker identifies a newborn in the community. The maternal and child health nurse contacts the family during the first days at home to arrange an appointment. This is usually the first home visit.

Home visits by a maternal and child health nurse

In addition to antenatal home visits, the maternal and child health nurse conducts 10 key ages and stages in the child’s health, learning and development. These include:

Families can access the service at other times by telephone or through a Wandikweza centre visit. The centre offers a range of times when families can access the service. The centre typically operates through scheduled appointments, open consultation sessions and some after-hours appointments.