Stakeholder Workshops allow us to connect our Safe Motherhood Ambassadors with influential members of their communities that can form a support network for their work and reintegration. Key social influencers include: health extension workers, midwives, women’s association members, religious leaders, and community members.
SMAs fill a vital gap in providing emergency referral services in rural Ethiopia. Working in collaboration with the local government health infrastructure. SMAs strengthen existing health service coverage, healthcare providers, and facilities in the local area. The program mobilizes women who themselves have suffered from lack of adequate maternal health care and prepares them to educate their communities about healthy pregnancy, safe delivery, harmful traditional practices, and fistula prevention. These women become agents of change who make a tangible, positive impact on their communities by working to reduce maternal morbidities and mortality in their villages. Community elders and leaders are invited to workshops with local health experts to discuss the issue of identifying women with fistula for treatment and reintegration, as well as fistula preventative methods (ante-natal care and safe delivery in health facilities). Our goal is to de-stigmatize obstetric fistula within the community, identify women who need support physically (treatment) and socially (reintegration), and also prevent occurrence of new cases.