The FATA/KP Health Initiative worked to increase the availability of quality maternal, newborn, and child health services in seven districts of Pakistan’s Malakand Division of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) to improve the health outcomes of mothers and their children.
Gender inequities and social norms in these seven districts limit women’s mobility and access to health services, education, and employment. For example, in FATA and the Malakand Division, cultural norms tend not to permit women and children to travel to health facilities for care or to receive health services from male practitioners. This is complicated by long distances needed to travel to health facilities, poor quality and availability of staff and services once there, inability to pay for services, and absence of comprehensive outreach services.
As a result, health indicators in FATA and KP are poor. The number of women who give birth with the help of a skilled birth attendant is low (48% in KP, 26% in FATA) and the majority of health facilities are unable to manage complicated cases of childbirth. The situation is further complicated by poor transport options. These factors have led to high maternal mortality ratios (380/100,000 live births in FATA and 275/100,000 live births in KP).
The FATA/KP Health Initiative focused on improving the continuum of care to address maternal and child mortality. Specifically, health services were provided through skilled community midwives and by health providers practicing basic emergency obstetric and newborn care (BEmONC) and comprehensive emergency obstetric and newborn care (CEmONC) at the facility level.
The initiative had three components:
- Developing human resources for health (recruiting, training, and deploying lady health workers and community midwives) and developing an accelerated education program
- Delivering health services (establishing BEmONC and CEmONC centers and operationalizing mobile health units) to reach more women
- Providing technical assistance to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Department of Health
The FATA/KP Initiative was supported by USAID.