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.

Improving postpartum care in a large hospital in New Delhi, India

Despite recent progress, the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) in India remains high at 174 per 100 000 live births. Bhagwan Mahavir Hospital (BMH) is a secondary level hospital in New Delhi. In 2013, five women died in BMH’s postpartum ward...

Reducing preventable maternal, newborn, and child deaths at scale by improving care effectiveness and efficiency


Wednesday, July 25th, 9:00-10:00 a.m. ET (Washington, D.C.)

USAID estimates that we could save the lives of more than 15,000 children and 830 women each day just by reliably delivering evidence-based care, every time, to the people who need it. Sounds simple in theory, but what does this look like in practice?

Evaluation of a Results-based Financing Intervention in South West Uganda

Results-based financing (RBF) usually refers to a form of funding that provides financial payment incentives to staff or service units for achieving specified levels of performance. The Uganda Ministry of Health (MoH) developed a national...

"Saving Mothers, Giving Life" Final Report

The Saving Mothers, Giving Life (SMGL) initiative was a five year (2012-2017) public-private partnership (PPP) aimed at rapidly reducing maternal and newborn mortality in selected districts of Uganda, Zambia, and Nigeria. The Saving...

Improving preeclampsia and eclampsia care: Tested changes and guidance from East Central Uganda

Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are one of the leading causes of severe morbidity, disability and death among mothers and their babies. In Africa, about 10% of maternal deaths are associated with hypertensive disorders in pregnancy ;...

Improving management of anemia among pregnant women: Tested changes and guidance from East Central Uganda

Anemia in pregnancy is a global problem. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated the incidence of anemia in pregnancy in 2011 at 38.2% globally, 46.3% in the African region, and 34% in Uganda (WHO 2015). In Uganda, the prevalence of...

Improving care for syphilis and malaria among pregnant women: Tested changes and guidance from East Central Uganda

Syphilis in pregnancy has contributed to over 300,000 stillbirths and fetal and neonatal deaths worldwide, while putting an additional 215,000 neonates at risk of low birth weight, prematurity, and other syphilis related complications (WHO...

A multi-faceted regional learning platform to support maternal, newborn and child health improvement efforts in the WHO South-East Asia Region

Sonali Vaid

Quality Improvement Consultant, WHO Collaborating Centre for Newborn Care at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi

By: Dr. Sonali Vaid, Dr. Rajesh Mehta, Dr. Ashok Deorari, and Dr. K. Aparna Sharma