1.7  Conducting a community profile

You learned how to conduct a community profile in Study Session 1 of the Antenatal Care Module.

Before you can provide an effective postnatal care service to your community, you should know the total population you are going to serve and how to collect vital statistics, such as births, deaths and information on migration of people into and out of the area. In addition you need to record all women in the reproductive age group (approximately 15 to 45 years), who may become pregnant in the future, and the number of currently pregnant women with their expected date of delivery.

You should also record the names and addresses of all TBAs, local healers, village drug vendors and any other private practitioners. Register all community organisations that may support you in mobilising human, financial and transportation resources, in case emergency medical referrals are required for the mother and baby. You will learn about the referral link in the final study session of this Module. All of the above information needs to be updated every four to six months.

You may not need to conduct community mobilisation separately for PNC. It should be done in an integrated and harmonised way with all other community-based maternal, neonatal and child health services. Box 1.3 summarises the activity for community mobilisation to support postnatal care.

Box 1.3  Community based postnatal services

  • Visit individual community leaders, TBAs and traditional healers to engage their support.
  • Organise orientation meetings for all opinion leaders and gatekeepers.
  • With community leaders and TBAs, plan and organise community meetings to educate community members about postnatal care.
  • Carry out home visits to teach parents and caregivers about postnatal care (Figure 1.4).
  • Distribute information, education and communication (IEC) materials to community leaders and community members.
A health worker is showing anew mother how to improve her breastfeeding technique. A baby suckles on her mother’s teat.
Figure 1.4  A home visit from a supportive health worker can help new mothers to learn new skills. (Photo: UNICEF Ethiopia)

1.6.3  Establishing partnerships with community gatekeepers

Summary of Study Session 1