Community participation as a strategy in reducing maternal and child mortality in rural areas: A Literature review
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Background: Maternal and neonatal mortality rate are still high in many developing countries. Lack of access to health facilities is one of the biggest challenges in the poorest households and in rural areas which contributes to high maternal and neonatal mortality. One strategy to improve health services utilization amongst the poorest and rural areas is by incorporating community participation into maternal and neonatal health programmes. Indonesia is one of the countries which make intensive efforts to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality using community participation strategy. Objectives: To identify the effectiveness of community participation strategies to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality and discuss the relevance of global experiences within the Indonesian context. Method: A systematic review. The relevant studies were searched electronically through two databases; Pub-Med and ISI Web of Knowledge. Pre-defined selection criteria applied to the filtered studies. The references of primary sources were traced to add more appropriate studies. Results: 12 studies were generated from the two databases and 3 studies were added from the reference list of primary sources. Conclusions: The evidences appear that community participation is an effective strategy in reducing maternal and neonatal health. Three lessons can be drawn from global experiences are considering local context, involving men and wider community members and integrating with the existing health systems. The global experiences are relevant for the Indonesian context. Further researches are needed to improve the implementation and to scale up the programmes.