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HANAN Mother, Child Health & Nutrition Project

Our Approaches

Community Mobilization

Mothers prepare nutritious meals for their children.

Thousands of mothers like these participated in nutrition classes at local kindergartens in Gaza, as part of an overall program to improve children's and families' nutrition at home and in school.

Hanan enlisted the support of individuals, groups, local organizations, clinics, hospitals and businesses in ways that captured the spirit, talents, voices, and resources available in 113 West Bank and Gaza communities, inspiring thousands of women, children, families, citizens, community and opinion leaders, and business owners to play an active role in promoting maternal and child health and nutrition.

At the start of the process, Hanan talked with a range of women and community members, and commissioned a review of previous community mobilization experiences, in Gaza and West Bank which helped to identify women's and community's health priorities, and inform Hanan's community mobilization approach.

To promote ownership of activities by Palestinian communities, Hanan recruited teams of community mobilization and community health workers who were integrated into the field offices of partner NGOs. Together with community organizations and community committees, they identified priority mother, child health and nutrition (MCHN) areas to focus on, and developed and executed specific work plans.

The field teams then worked with and through village councils and municipalities, community-based organizations, kindergartens, charitable societies, women's organizations, village hall owners, local businesses, community activities and leaders, health professionals, teachers and the men and women who lived in their communities. Health campaigns, open days, medical days and festivals, completed home visits, individual counseling sessions and health education sessions were conducted by community health workers.

Two mothers and their infants sit with a female health worker.

Hanan-trained community health workers discuss critical health issues with young mothers during home visits.

The activities were augmented and reinforced by Hanan's strong media campaign, which included a series of four health education booklets, 10 radio plays, a CD of Songs, and public theatre performances that used existing media channels to promote Hanan's key health messages in informative and entertaining ways.

Hanan health workers carried out nearly 43,232 knowledge promotion activities that engaged more than 153,000 women, men and children (February 2008) on topics such as anemia prevention, home management of childhood illnesses, the importance of timely antenatal and postnatal care, and the importance of exclusive breastfeeding. With support from the health workers, local kindergartens established and implemented healthy eating programs. Community organizations and local halls opened their doors and activated their networks to support mother and child health initiatives. Local leaders and village councils and municipalities lent their support and other resources to ensure the initiatives' success. With support from their communities, women and children have learned how they can stay healthy, and they have adopted healthy practices such as cooking more nutritious meals at home for the entire family.

Learn more about Hanan's community mobilization tools.

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