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A report on the Mobile Obstetrics Maternal Health Worker (MOM) Project by CPI / GHAP partner organizations the Burma Medical Association and the Mae Tao Clinic
In eastern Burma half a million internally displaced persons live in the cross-fire of the world's longest on-going civil conflict, and women face grave risks giving birth. Surveys conducted by CPI local partners showed that the vast majority of women gave birth at home without a trained attendant, and fewer that five percent had access to emergency obstetric care.
In 2004, leaders of community-based organizations along the Thailand-Burma border proposed to pilot the Mobile Obstetric Maternal Health Workers (MOM) Project, with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health, and technical support from Johns Hopkins University Center for Public Health and Human Rights and our health branch, the Global Health Access Program. (GHAP). The MOM Project has shown that with modest resources and proper training, health workers in collaboration with traditional birth attendants significantly increase delivery of services that save mothers' lives.
The MOM Project brought high quality maternal health care to mothers, families and communities, rather than requiring people to travel to clinics or providers, which can be extremely challenging in isolated and conflic-affected regions. The MOM Project's innovative, mobile, community-based approach to reproductive health has been replicated in other conflict-affected and underserved areas of Burma — providing a groundbreaking model that could be adapted to similarly affected communities around the world.