HealthBridge works with partners world-wide to improve health and health equity through research, policy and action.

IMCHA: Improving access to health services and quality of care for mothers and children in Tanzania


Together with local partners, HealthBridge is examining how poverty, social and gender barriers and living in rural areas contribute to delays in access to, and the quality and utilization of, maternal and child health services in Tanzania. HealthBridge and partners are also identifying interventions to address these barriers through community-based participatory action research.

This project is part of Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa (IMCHA), led and funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and co-funded by Global Affairs Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Our Implementation Research Team (IRT) is composed of leading African and Canadian researchers and African decision-makers. The team works closely with East African health policy and research organizations (HPROs) to promote the uptake of research findings to influence national and regional policies and practices. Ours is one of nineteen IRTs working as part of IMCHA. 

The aim of the project is to generate new knowledge about how interventions work, for whom and under what conditions.

The specific objectives of the project are to:

  • Understand the processes and context at the community and health facility level that affect maternal, newborn and child health outcomes;
  • Design and implement community and health facility level interventions to improve access to health services and quality of care for mothers and children;
  • Assess the impact of interventions in communities and health facilities on maternal, newborn and child health outcomes;
  • Understand the implications for the economy and for health systems of strengthening interventions aimed at integrating community and health facilities in order to improve maternal and child health in Tanzania.


Iringa region, Tanzania



September 2015 - March 2020

Achieved Outcomes

  • Improved access to and increased timely utilization of health services by the pregnant women and mothers of children under two years of age
  • Increased particpation and involvement of women and men during meetings with stakeholders
  • Enhanced awareness about maternal health among community members
  • Community-led solutions such as an emergency fund for transportion to health facilities 
  • Improve quality of care at the health facilities for pregnant women and mothers of children under two years of age with particular focus on ante-natal care, health facility delivery, post-natal care and sick-child care
  • Increased engagement of women and men in addressing the social and gender barriers for improvement of maternal and child heath in their respective communities
  • Improved capacity and accountability of the Health Committee in ensuring quality of care in the health facility.




IMCHA PAR Inforgraphic
IMCHA Male Engagement Infographic
 IMCHA Key Messages Infographic
IMCHA Key Messages Infographic