Community health education : maternal and newborn health

The literature reviewed for this project revealed that the fetal and neonatal morbidity and mortality rates that occur from the twenty-eighth week of gestation until the twenty-eighth day after birth [Perinatal Period] exceeded all other causes of death combined, until the age of sixty-five. Also, 10 to 20 percent of the women who are pregnant are classified into the high risk group and account for over one half of the fetal and neonatal deaths. The message gained from many of the readings was that women seeking prenatal care, which included basic pregnancy education, had a better pregnancy outcome than women receiving little or no care. It has not been clearly determined if a good pregnancy outcome was related to the woman receiving prenatal care or that she was already living conscientious pregnancy. This project, sponsored by Los Angeles County March of Dimes entailed the development, implementation and evaluation of a community health education program in two Los Angeles communities, identified by the Los Angeles Health System Agency [H.S.A.] as having high infant morbidity and mortality rates and considered high risk. The two communities were East Los Angeles and South Central Los Angeles. The purpose of this project was to inform community leaders, who had grass root contacts in their community, about the problem of poor pregnancy outcome. Once informed, the participants together discussed solutions to the problem. The program was conducted for four weeks at two separate sites. The topics covered were: Session I: An Overview of Poor Pregnancy Outcome. Session II: Conception to Birth—Prenatal Care. Session III: Teenage Pregnancy. Session IV: Role of Community Leaders. The evaluation of the programs revealed: 1. That the participants gained each week a small amount of new and useful information. 2. That the participants could list ways this new information could be dispersed. 3. Four problems the participants identified as areas to be acted upon to improve the outcome of pregnancy. This program, being a pilot project, will also be a basic plan to build upon for organizing and implementing similar community health education programs in other March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation’s Chapters across the United States.