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.

Quality Improvement Initiatives in the Government of India’s RMNCH+A Strategy: Lessons from Chamba, Himachal Pradesh

ASSIST’s India team started providing QI support in December 2013 to improve services at health facilities in Chamba district in Himachal Pradesh state. Within a few months, the district government saw good, sustained results from QI...

Improving Alcohol and Tobacco Control during Pregnancy in Ukraine

USAID ASSIST began working in Ukraine in 2014 as a continuation of an activity begun under the USAID Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) in 2013 to implement a non-communicable diseases pilot activity in Poltava Oblast, also known as “...

WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist

Of the more than 130 million births occurring each year, an estimated 303,000 result in the mother’s death, 2.6 million in stillbirth, and another 2.7 million in a newborn death. Almost half of these deaths occur during labor and...

USAID ASSIST Project Annual Performance Monitoring Report FY15

This annual report for the USAID ASSIST Project summarizes the project's accomplishments and results in FY15 supporting the application of modern improvement methods by host country providers and managers in USAID-assisted countries...

Tested Changes to Improve Maternal and Newborn Care

This synthesis of evidence-based changes to improve processes and systems for maternal and newborn care in Uganda was developed for the Ministry of Health by the USAID ASSIST Project as part of its assistance to the PEPFAR-funded Saving...

Increasing institutional deliveries through improving community-facility linkages in Mewat, Haryana State, India

Empowering communities and frontline health workers to use quality improvement (QI) methods to achieve better antenatal and intrapartum care, the USAID ASSIST Project supported a community QI team in Mewat, Haryana. The team observed that...

Antenatal corticosteroids for management of preterm birth: a multi-country analysis of health system bottlenecks and potential solutions

Antenatal corticosteroids (ACS) are effective at reducing deaths and serious complications in preterm infants <34 weeks gestation if administered to mothers at risk of imminent preterm birth in order to stimulate fetal lung maturation...

Changes that improved maternal and neonatal health in six states of India

The change ideas shared in these documents is a compilation of ideas that showed success in changing important processes to achieve improvement in services at the state-level in India. These change ideas were successfully implemented in a...

Changes that improved newborn health services in India

The change ideas shared in this document is a compilation of ideas that showed success in changing important processes to achieve improvement in services in neonatal period. These change ideas were successfully implemented in a select...

Changes that improved maternal health services during postnatal period in India

The change ideas shared in this document is a compilation of ideas that showed success in changing important processes to achieve improvement in services in immediate postpartum period. These change ideas were successfully implemented in a...

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