In Zanzibar, about 5 women a week barely survive life-threatening complications of childbirth. Their child often dies and they sometimes lose the ability to have other children. These are often very poor women who are pushed further into poverty because of the costs of treatment and inability to work after the complication. Psychological support through readily accessible community volunteers and peer groups improves recovery.
Implement psychological support for women surviving life-threatening complications of childbirth in rural Zanzibar: 1. by trained volunteers at community level, 2. through peer-support groups. This program is called “Friendship Bench” and has been developed and used in Zimbabwe with success but never after complications of pregnancy or childbirth.
Why is this project Important?
Women in rural Zanzibar are strong. They play a central role in their family and community. When they become sick because of complications of childbirth, the whole community is profoundly affected. Improving individual recovery therefore means helping a whole family to resume their lives normally.
- Evaluation of the short term benefits of psychological support, through validated questionnaires and interviews
- Establishing peer-support groups of women having experienced life-threatening complications helping each other recover by sharing experiences and solutions.
- We expect to reach 50 women in the first year.
We are aiming to raise £4600 to covers the cost of two full time Zanzibari Research Assistants coordinating care between hospital and community and organizing the peer-support groups.
I am a consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology from The Netherlands. I have worked to improve Maternal Healthcare in Zanzibar since 2015 and team up for this project with HIPZ, an established NGO working in Zanzibar since more than ten years in partnership with the Ministry of Health.
Zanzibari Research Assistants
Suhaila Salum Yussuf and Khairat Said Mbarouk are two Zanzibari women with a background in psychology. They have been helping with research projects on the impact of life-threatening complications of childbirth before. They are particularly skilled in having in depth discussions and to put answers in the cultural context of Zanzibar.
Dorenda Van Dijken
M. de Kuijer
Lisette Van der Stap