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JICA-Net Sample Activities〔JICA Human Development department  To improve understanding of Maternal and Child Health Handbook- for improvement of maternal and child health in developing countries-〕

Introducing Maternal and Child Health Handbook

In recent years, Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Handbook has attracted a lot of interest in Japan and in many countries globally. Therefore, there is a real need to provide information on the use, effectiveness and value of MCH Handbook, and just as importantly, to share experiences from various countries on the process of its adaptation and institutionalization. The video, produced as a multimedia teaching material, titled "Maternal and Child Health Handbook to the World - The Process of Introduction and Dissemination in Developing Countries" explains, in an easy-to understand manner, the concept and purpose of the MCH Handbook and highlights experiences, achievements and challenges in its adaptation and institutionalization from different countries, such as Ghana, Vietnam, Indonesia and Palestine where JICA supported introduction and integration into national programs of MCH Handbook.

MCH Handbook project in Ghana

The MCH Handbook has been in use nationally in Japan for more than 70 years and it is most valuable innovative tool for maintaining excellent maternal child health in the country. It has evolved into an innovative tool which integrates both maternal and child records into one handbook that is kept at home by the mother or family, and enables comprehensive and continuity of care; influencing both the supply of and demand for appropriate and effective services while at the same time providing a valuable record of all services received by the mother and her child. JICA believes that the integration and use of MCH Handbook in national programs can be effective in improving maternal and child health of all people, especially in developing countries where health care services are not adequately provided and used.

As a Training Material for JICA Knowledge Co-Creation Programs

This material was used for JICA Knowledge Co-Creation Programs "Improvement of Maternal Health", held in June 2019 for trainees from Indonesia, Tanzania, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. The feedback from participants was positive as it is very useful to understand MCH Handbook in depth particularly for those who had some prior experience with MCH Handbook.

Dissemination of the Benefits of Maternal and Child Health Handbook

Screening the multimedia material in Lusaka

This material is also useful for providing information about the benefits and use of MCH Handbook to the people who live in regions without enough knowledge about MCH Handbook. JICA held a MCH Handbook workshop in Lusaka, Republic of Zambia in June 2019. During the workshop this video was screened to provide more knowledge about MCH Handbook for participants from Ministry of Health, WHO and JOICEF.
Before the workshop, participants from Ministry of Health Zambia had thought that they could make MCH Handbook by integrating separate maternal and child health booklets into one. However through learning from this material, they understood that it is very important to integrate all the components such as 1) Pregnancy, 3) Delivery / Birth, 3) Postpartum, 4) Pediatric regular examination, 5) Pediatric vaccination, 6) Child growth monitoring; in chronological order to complete the Continuum of Care for both Mother and Child. They also understood that MCH Handbook is not only a booklet for keeping records but also for health education of mothers.

Using in the training for Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV)

This material is also used in the training for Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) which was held most recently in April, 2019. Through the use of this video, these Japanese volunteers could understand the issues and challenges in introducing and implementing programs for MCH Handbook.
By using this material with different audiences and in various contexts, we realized that the material promotes further understanding about MCH Handbook for people who already have some experiences working with the handbook by giving them practical ideas for better adaptation, use and institutionalization of the MCH Handbook. On the other hand, even for the people who are not familiar with MCH Handbook, it will provide valuable and practical information about the MCH Handbook and its value and benefits for improving and saving lives of mothers and children in the world.

Keiko Mehra
Health Group 2
JICA Human Development department

*The Material(s) mainly applied

Maternal and Child Health Handbook to the World - The Process of Introduction and Dissemination in Developing Countries

This material outlines the method of introducing and disseminating Maternal and Child Health Handbooks in developing countries through JICA's experiences in this field.

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