The Connect Project aims to research ways to strengthen health care from the community level to the health facility level to reduce preventable deaths among mothers in childbirth, newborns and children under five. The project works with local government partners to introduce a paid Community Health Agent (CHA) to provide education and preventive and curative services in villages.
Additionally, the Connect Project supports local government health systems to improve referrals from communities and primary health care centers to hospitals in cases of health emergencies. These efforts are being implemented in three rural Tanzanian districts. The research hopes to demonstrate that having formally trained and remunerated CHAs will reduce newborn and child deaths and provide evidence on practical, sustainable ways to support these workers and to improve emergency referral systems. The study will also support the Tanzanian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoHSW) in testing and costing a model for recruitment, training, and deployment of community health workers as envisioned in the Primary Health Service Development Program (MMAM).
The Connect Project is led by the Ifakara Health Institute with technical support from Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health and theTanzania Training Centre for International Health (TTCIH). Funding is generously provided by Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (USA) and Comic Relief (UK).