The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded Maternal New-born and Child Health, MNCH, project, aims to contribute to the reduction of maternal new-born and child morbidity by increasing coverage of lifesaving interventions across 50% geography of Gombe State.

The project works with selected and trained women who are referred to as Village Health Workers, VHWs. These VHWs are an arm of the formal health system and are invariably regarded as government recognized staff. Their role is to conduct home visits to pregnant women and nursing mothers in their communities to increase demand and uptake of health facility services, administer basic lifesaving drugs, provide First Aid treatment and facilitate referrals in their various communities.

The work of the VHWs is supported with group Interpersonal Communication sessions organized for influencers and key home decision makers who are the Mothers-In-law, Community/Religious Leaders and Husbands.

The project also uses the mass-media to re-enforce the messages on seeking skilled care for MNCH and raising community support and awareness on their roles in reducing maternal and newborn deaths.

In order to address the second delay in accessing skilled services during obstetric and newborn emergencies, the project provides low cost and timely transportation through the Emergency Transport Scheme ETS and Community Transport Volunteers CTV. These volunteers are trained and available to lift women and newborns to the nearest health facilities to receive skilled care.

On the supply side, the project ensures the availability of essential lifesaving MNCH drugs for the pregnant woman and the new-born in health facilities. These commodities are redistributed at the community by VHWs and the 57 priority Health facilities.


  • Increased health facility delivery from 18% (NDHS 2008) to 28% (NDHS 2013)
  • Increased ANC attendance from 48% (NDHS 2008) to 58% (NDHS 2013)
  • 1,450 community based volunteers trained to deliver home based care during early/late pregnancy, postnatal stages and make referrals for skilled care
  • Training on Essential Newborn Care (ENC), administration of Misoprostol and Active management of third stage of labour (AMTSL) for 117 health facilities across the 10 local governments of Gombe state.
  • Mass distribution of resuscitation kits containing Ambu bag and suction bulbs
  • Selection and training of Ward Development Committees for programme sustainability

Download dissemination documents here: