Between Us (Women)

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The following is part of a series of project updates from Future Generations. MHTF is supporting their project, Using Pregnancy Histories to Help Mothers, based in Peru. More information on MHTF supported projects can be found here.

Written by: Future Generations

As the first project year reaches completion, the “Between Us (Women)” Project has trained 72 Women Leaders (WL) from 28 communities of the Andean highlands of Cusco in Peru. Of these, 93% are still “active”, even though not all are consistently able to attend all the workshops. We are far enough along in the project to graph results on training workshop attendance trends which have leveled off around the 70% mark with a late further decline associated with the pre-winter harvest season. We have also graphed results of pretests and posttests for all six priority topics for the project, showing more improved posttest scores in the intervention group as compared to the control group, the topics including pregnancy, birth and postpartum, newborn, breastfeeding, infant diarrhea and pneumonia. Monitoring data on community education activities carried out by WL show how many community women have been exposed to educational activities of the WL through home visits and in women´s group meetings. WL in the intervention groups have completed on average twice the number of home visits to pregnant women and mothers of children under age two, as compared to the control group.

In two out of the four project districts where women gather in meetings on a monthly basis as a requirement for a cash transfer program (called the JUNTOS program), WL have been able to reach more than triple the number of women for group education activities (and quadruple the number by WL in the intervention group), as compared to districts where JUNTOS does not operate. In other words, given that JUNTOS does not provide educational content to its beneficiaries, our training program for WL has greatly potentiated the health education of JUNTOS beneficiaries who otherwise would not receive health information in this important national program that is targeted to women in extreme poverty.