The MOM Project: delivering maternal health services among internally displaced populations in eastern Burma

Reprod Health Matters. 2008 May;16(31):44-56. doi: 10.1016/S0968-8080(08)31341-X.


Alternative strategies to increase access to reproductive health services among internally displaced populations are urgently needed. In eastern Burma, continuing conflict and lack of functioning health systems render the emphasis on facility-based delivery with skilled attendants unfeasible. Along the Thailand-Burma border, local organisations have implemented an innovative pilot, the Mobile Obstetric Maternal Health Workers (MOM) Project, establishing a three-tiered collaborative network of community-based reproductive health workers. Health workers from local organisations received practical training in basic emergency obstetric care plus blood transfusion, antenatal care and family planning at a central facility. After returning to their target communities inside Burma, these first-tier maternal health workers trained a second tier of local health workers and a third tier of traditional birth attendants (TBAs) to provide a limited subset of these interventions, depending on their level of training. In this ongoing project, close communication between health workers and TBAs promotes acceptance and coverage of maternity services throughout the community. We describe the rationale, design and implementation of the project and a parallel monitoring plan for evaluation of the project. This innovative obstetric health care delivery strategy may serve as a model for the delivery of other essential health services in this population and for increasing access to care in other conflict settings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Community Networks
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Maternal Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Myanmar
  • Obstetrics
  • Organizational Case Studies
  • Program Development
  • Refugees*