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.

Reducing hypothermia in newborns admitted to a neonatal care unit in a large academic hospital in New Delhi, India

Neonatal hypothermia is a common and dangerous condition around the world. Seventy (70) percent of neonates born in a large children’s hospital in New Delhi, India and subsequently admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) were...

Saving Mothers Giving Life: A Northern Uganda Photo Story

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

Improving Anemia Management in Mansa District, Punjab, India

Iron deficiency anemia in pregnancy can be successfully managed by simple interventions. It can be prevented and alleviated by eating foods high in iron and taking oral iron supplements. More serious cases can be treated by iron sucrose...

Sparking a national movement to improve the quality of care in health care facilities

Sonali Vaid

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

Reducing the radiological exposure of neonates and cost of care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at a private hospital in Bangalore, India

Neonatologists and nurses at Ovum Hospital in Bangalore were concerned that newborns were being exposed to unnecessary X-rays. In November 2016, staff from this hospital attended a two-day workshop on quality improvement approaches (QI)...

Reducing cost and improving quality of care for high-risk babies in Karnataka, India

At a hospital in South India, all high-risk babies admitted to the NICU underwent at least one brain scan and heart scan if there are medical indications. While the NICU was staffed with neonatologists who were trained in conducting such...

Mejorando la atención de madres y bebés: Una guía para los equipos de mejoramiento

Esta guía describe un abordaje simple por el cual los proveedores de salud y los equipos de mejoramiento se pueden planificar, poner a prueba, implementar, evaluar y sostener las intervenciones para mejorar la atención en salud de madres y...

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