Community mobilization and maternal Care of Women Living with HIV in poor settings: The case of Mfuwe, Zambia

C. Muzyamba*, W. Groot, S. Tomini, M. Pavlova

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Research has shown that community mobilization is a useful strategy in promoting maternal care of HIV negative women in resource poor settings; however, similar evidence for women living with HIV is missing. Therefore, in this study we provide this evidence by exploring the relevance of community mobilization in the promotion of maternal health care among women living with HIV in resource-poor settings by using Mfuwe, a rural district in Zambia as a case study. Methods: By relying on Focus Group Discussions (FGDs), qualitative data were collected from Mfuwe, Zambia. The data were digitally recorded, transcribed and later translated from CheChewa (local language) to English. We relied on Thematic analysis to analyze the data. Results: By focusing on community mobilization, our results showed that within their social fabrics, resource-poor communities often contain unrecognized and sometimes ignored strategies which are contextually-feasible and have been used for generations to promote maternal care for HIV positive women. Further, it was evident that although the three forms of community mobilization were largely and uniquely useful in promoting maternal health care of women living with HIV, they also presented unique and various shortcomings. Conclusion: We demonstrated that community mobilization was largely and often characterized as a force for good (e.g. providing support, improving access to maternal care etc.) and sometimes for bad (e.g. reinforced harmful misconceptions, superstition and stigma). Thus we recommend that community mobilization needs to be factored into maternal health care policies for HIV positive women in resource poor settings either to optimize their potential benefits or to minimize their potential harm.
Original languageEnglish
Article number155
Number of pages11
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2018

JEL classifications

  • i00 - Health, Education, and Welfare: General
  • i15 - Health and Economic Development
  • i14 - Health and Inequality
  • i39 - Welfare and Poverty: Other


  • Community mobilization
  • HIV
  • Maternal health
  • Resource-poor settings
  • adult
  • community participation
  • female
  • health care planning
  • health services research
  • human
  • Human immunodeficiency virus infection
  • information processing
  • maternal health service
  • middle aged
  • organization and management
  • pregnancy
  • pregnancy complication
  • psychology
  • rural population
  • social stigma
  • social support
  • supply and distribution
  • Zambia
  • Adult
  • Community Participation
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Resources
  • Health Services Research
  • HIV Infections
  • Humans
  • Maternal Health Services
  • Middle Aged
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious
  • Rural Population
  • Social Stigma
  • Social Support
  • Zambia/epidemiology
  • Maternal Health Services/organization & administration
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/epidemiology
  • Health Resources/supply & distribution
  • HIV Infections/epidemiology

Cite this