Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health

Mother with baby

In the last 20 years, great strides have been made in reducing child and maternal deaths.  However, child and maternal deaths still remain unacceptably high. In 2013, 6.3 million children died before their fifth birthday, and even now some 800 women and girls die each day in the process of giving life, largely from preventable causes. Strengthening essential system functions to reliably deliver high quality, life-saving interventions for leading causes of maternal, newborn, and child mortality is a major part of USAID’s Ending Preventable Child and Maternal Deaths (EPCMD) strategy. The USAID ASSIST Project supports the global EPCMD agenda by:

  • Testing and implementing innovative, cutting-edge quality improvement and service delivery approaches in maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH), such as collaborative improvement, process redesign, and integrating routine and complications care across system levels
  • Developing, testing, and disseminating technical frameworks, approaches, and tools that can increase the efficiency, effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and sustainability of health system strengthening and quality improvement initiatives in support of the USAID EPCMD strategy, including strategies to integrate gender considerations in care delivery
  • Building government and implementing partner capacity to apply improvement methods across health system levels (community, clinic, hospital, district, regional, central) to improve, scale up, and sustain high-impact, low-cost, people-centered MNCH and family planning (FP) services for leading causes of maternal newborn and child morbidity and mortality in USAID priority countries
  • Strengthening frontline health worker and manager skills, motivation, and performance through integrated clinical and quality improvement (QI) capacity building and through engagement of health workers in making improvements in their local health care systems and processes
  • Supporting the development and testing of MNCH quality of care indicators, strengthening routine health information systems to enable regular tracking of quality measures at service delivery level, and promoting accountability at global, national, and sub-national levels

Drawing on extensive experience support the planning, implementation and evaluation of MNCH improvement programs in different countries and regions, USAID ASSIST also contributes to global learning about gaps in care processes and how to best support health system functions to deliver high-impact, cost-effective MNCH services to decrease preventable maternal and child deaths.

WIHI July 23 Webinar: Saving Lives by Design: Lessons for All from Ghana's Project Fives Alive!

WIHI July 23 Webinar
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement is pleased to offer this free webinar to share insights from Project Fives Alive!, an eight-year program that IHI has supported in Ghana to reduce under-five morbidity and mortality.   Important lessons learned from Project Fives Alive! have been captured in a recently published practical guide, and this WIHI session will highlight some of the discoveries related to one critical dimension of large-scale change: adaptive design. For Project Fives Alive! this has meant constant attention to implementation and being able to modify plans based on feedback and facts on the ground.
The webinar will be held from 10am-11am Eastern Time US (GMT - 4).

Helping Babies Breathe: Lessons learned guiding the way forward

The Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) Global Development Alliance (GDA) was established in 2010 with the goal of achieving a significant reduction in neonatal morbidity and mortality through strengthening the performance of providers who...

Lessons Learned from Ghana's Project Fives Alive! A Practical Guide for Designing and Executing Large-Scale Improvement Initiatives

Project Fives Alive! is a partnership between the National Catholic Health Service of Ghana and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) in the United States. Based on seven years of implementation experience scaling up high-impact...

Improving Outcomes for Mothers, Newborns, and Children

This short report describes the approaches used and some of the results achieved by the USAID ASSIST Project to improve care for mothers, newborns, and children.

International Day to End Obstetric Fistula

Elizabeth Romanoff Silva


May 23rd marked the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula. This year’s theme “End fistula, restore women’s dignity,” emphasizes that high rates of fistula continue to debilitate women and girls and deny them equal opportunities around the world.

Engaging health workers in improving quality of care key to reduce maternal mortality in Uganda

Mirwais Rahimzai

Regional Director for East Africa, USAID ASSIST/URC

I returned to Kampala inspired after an excellent gathering organized in Fort Portal, Uganda, by the Saving Mothers Giving Life (SMGL) initiative, where participants from Zambia, Uganda and Nigeria came together to review the progress, share learning and discuss the future course of action. The meeting was inaugurated by inspiring speeches from the Fort Portal District Leader, the USAID Mission Director, and the global SMGL coordinator in Washington.

International Day of the Midwife: Need for midwives is more than ever

Annie Clark

Senior QI Advisor MNCH, USAID ASSIST Project/URC

May 5 is the internationally recognized day for highlighting the work of midwives. The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) established the idea of the 'International Day of the Midwife' (IDM) following suggestions and discussion among midwives associations in the late 1980s, then launched the initiative formally in 1992. 

Launch of Virtual Collaborative to Reduce Newborn Infections in Hospitals throughout Latin Amerca

A new virtual improvement collaborative to reduce neonatal infections in Latin America, Red INFECC, was launched on Tuesday March 31, 2015 through an inaugural webinar moderated by Dr. Jorge Hermida, a public health professional and...

BMJ Quality Webinar: Sitaram Bhartia's QI Journey

SItaram Bhartia BMJ Quality Webinar

BMJ Quality is pleased to host this webinar featuring three quality leaders from the Sitaram Bhartia Institute of Science and Research -- a 70-bed nonprofit hospital and medical research center in Delhi, India.  They will recount how quality became a game changer at the hospital and how an incident in her practice led one obstetrician-gynecologist to work for lowering caesarean section rates across the hospital.

April 9 2015  11:30am New York | 4:30pm London | 9:00pm Delhi