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 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...

Improving Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health in Kenya

This report provides an overview of the USAID ASSIST Project’s experience applying quality improvement (QI) to improve RMNCH services and reduce maternal and newborn mortality in Kenya and offers practical guidance to county-level...

VIDEO: The Story of Baby Miracle

Baby Miracle was born at a mere 25 weeks, after her mother experienced a complication during the pregnancy. This video highlights the timely and life-saving care that both mother and baby received due improvements in care initiated by the...

VIDEO: Uganda Regional Learning Network

Overview The Regional Learning Network in Uganda was designed to provide coordinated newborn health services across two levels of care: standard newborn care (Health Centers III and IV and the District Hospital) and specialized care (...

Using quality improvement to address asepsis during intravenous procedures among neonates at Swami Dayanand Hospital, Delhi

In May 2016, ASSIST began collaborating with the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Swami Dayanand Hospital in India to increase the capacity of their staff to improve the quality of care in that department. The Swami Dayanand NICU...

Setting Up a Self-Sustaining Quality Improvement Network in India

In May 2016, Kalawati Saran Children’s Hospital (KSCH) began using QI approaches to improve maternal and newborn care in their facility. This approach was very helpful for them in improving processes of care, and they achieved impressive...