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Gisele Biringanine and her 3-month-old daughter, Plameti Mugoli, have been receiving support from community health workers that are trained by CRS' Afya project. Her prenatal consultations and delivery were free of charge thanks to the Afya project.

The Democratic Republic of Congo has one of the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in the world. Access to emergency obstetric and neonatal care remains extremely limited. Health centers at the community level as well as at reference hospitals have extremely limited facilities. In addition, qualified health personnel are insufficient in rural areas where the majority of the population lives.

The Afya Ya Mama Na Mtoto (“Afya”) project is addressing the causes of high incidences of child mortality through activities that improve beneficiary access to health care at the facility level as well as activities that improve assistance provided to beneficiaries by community health volunteers.

As of March 2015, and since the inception of the project, the total number of pregnant women who attended prenatal consultations is 28,249, the number of women assisted during childbirth is 26,907 and the number of live births in maternities is 26,690.

Photo by Michael Stulman/Catholic Relief Services