History & Mission
Since 2012, WRA Zimbabwe has grown through mobilizing and equipping citizens and healthcare providers with the tools and knowledge to improve reproductive, maternal, newborn and adolescent health outcomes. WRA Zimbabwe’s mission is to active a people-led movement for reproductive, maternal and newborn health and rights to realize a Zimbabwe where all girls and women realize their right to quality health and well-being.
Many women experience disrespect and abuse at health facilities and choose to deliver at home, putting themselves and their babies at risk of complications and death. Currently 458 maternal deaths occur per 100,000 live births in Zimbabwe.
Training health workers on respectful maternity care and empowering women with the knowledge and confidence to lead their own care strengthens health systems and the relationship between a woman and her provider. WRA Zimbabwe is implementing respectful maternity care and self-care programs and working to embed strong policies reinforcing both at the national level.
Respectful Maternity Care
WRA Zimbabwe is strengthening respectful maternity care by engaging midwives to champion the cause and listening to their feedback on how to best support midwives in providing respectful maternity care. We are currently in the process of developing a respectful maternity care toolkit, in collaboration with midwives, to be used by all health care workers to improve the standard of care provided to mothers.
The WRA Zimbabwe self-care project is a community-driven, women-centered effort to build health literacy for new and expecting mothers in the rural area of Kwekwe. This program is laying the foundation for a national self-care strategy to promote healthy lifestyles for families while also realizing health rights.
WRA Zimbabwe has brought together educators, healthcare providers and communities to establish a culture of mutual understanding and respect. We have championed respectful maternity care education through extensive training, integration into medical education program curriculums and communication tools to drive change. In 2019, WRA Zimbabwe, in partnership with Women’s University in Africa, established a core group of trainers to integrate respectful maternity care principles and practice into the undergraduate midwifery curriculum offered to students who come from, and practice in, all 10 provinces in Zimbabwe.
The year prior, WRA Zimbabwe in partnership with Abertawe Bro Morgannwa University, created a cadre of 25 Respectful Maternity Care champion midwives and obstetricians through women-centered care and RMC education in Harare.
In 2017, we addressed high maternal mortality rates in KweKwe District by engaging nearly 5,000 women around self-care through effective birth preparedness in emergency situations, raising awareness of birth complications and informing them of their rights to receive quality, respectful care. Through building key relationships and partnerships with decisionmakers in KweKwe District, WRA Zimbabwe has integrated selfcare policies into health messaging.
SELF-CARE: Mom and baby at Self Care Project workshop, in Kwekwe, Zimbabwe.
CITIZEN-LED ACCOUNTABILITY: Caroline Maposhere facilitates a focus group discussion on accountability in health with pregnant women in Kwe Kwe District.
ALL SMILES: A mom and baby after delivering at a clinic in Zimbabwe
BIRTH PREPAREDNESS: Pregnant women from a maternity waiting home in Zimbabwe playing netball as part of Self-Care exercises. This image won the Best Photo award in the White Ribbon Alliance Self-Care photo competition.
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: Kwekwe Village health workers on day 2 of the Self-Care Project.
Respectful Maternity Care
Thank you to our partners
Ministry of Health and Child Care
World Health Organisation
United Nations Population Fund
Save the Children
Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program
Community Based Health Care workers
Health Center Communities
Zimbabwe Confederation of Midwives
Zimbabwe Nurse Association
Nurses’ & Midwives’ Council of Zimbabwe
College of Health Sciences University of Zimbabwe
Gender and Media Connect
Midwives Research Network
National Coordinator, WRA Zimbabwe