Maternal, Newborn, & Child Health: Our Impact

In late 2009, the USAID-funded and MSH-implemented program Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems (SPS) conducted an assessment on the availability and use of emergency obstetric medicines in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). SPS found that the national guidelines for informing health care providers of the most current, approved medicines and procedures—Standard Treatment Guidelines (STGs)—were out of date, particularly for preventing and treating complications during pregnancy.

The Sudan Health Transformation Project (SHTP II), led by MSH and funded by USAID, partners with the government of South Sudan to transition health service delivery from emergency response to a more sustainable health system. Several months after the project began, its implementing partners realized that gender issues were affecting its progress in expanding access to health services and reducing maternal morbidity. To remedy the problem, they gathered data on gender from project reports and discussed strategies for addressing gender inequity in the project area.

Afghanistan Tech-Serve ProjectAfghanistan Tech-Serve Project

Improving the health of women requires addressing the gender inequities and barriers that keep them from accessing health services. This is particularly true in Afghanistan. Despite having one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, women are not encouraged by their families or by society to deliver their babies in health facilities with skilled attendants.

Management Sciences for Health and mothers2mothers International invite you to attend a Senate briefing and reception as representatives of the non-profit, government, corporate, and African HIV community present:The Elimination of New HIV Infections in Children by 2015 and Keeping Mothers Alive: A Call to ActionEach year millions of children in the developing world are born to mothers living with HIV. Without intervention, as many as 40 percent of these mothers will transmit the virus to their newborns.  Yet mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS is almost entirely preventable.

The MSH-led, USAID-funded, BASICS project in Afghanistan, which will end on September 30, has worked closely with the Afghan Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) to build policies and initiate interventions for child survival. The project’s biggest success, however, has been handing over all of its activities to the MOPH’s Child and Adolescent Health Department. BASICS Afghanistan has worked itself out of a job. BASICS Afghanistan began working with the MOPH in early 2008 to evaluate gaps in child health care in the Afghan system.

Stanislas Nebie. {Photo credit: MSH.}Photo credit: MSH.

Benin has historically had one of the highest death rates for children under the age of five, but the Bamako Initiative of 1987, in which African ministers vowed to increase the availability of healthcare services, ushered in an era of community-based health care reform that has shown considerable success. MSH’s Basic Support for Institutionalizing Child Survival (BASICS) project, funded by USAID, works with the government in Benin to implement a community-based, integrated management system for child illness.

Malawi. {Photo credit: MSH.}Photo credit: MSH.

In 2009 and 2010, Malawi developed a national strategy to prevent more than 25,000 child deaths per year by using zinc to treat and prevent diarrhea. The government of Malawi and BASICS Benin, funded by USAID and led by MSH, with support from UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO), have oriented more than 2,000 communications officers and their supervisors to a national strategic communications plan for the use of zinc and trained nearly 4,000 health workers in the administration of zinc.

More than 1,000 volunteer community health workers in northern Benin, trained to treat childhood illnesses by the USAID-funded, MSH-led BASICS Benin project, have done more than save lives. They have had a unifying effect in their communities, building trust and alliances among neighbors. In the rural village of Kaki-Koka, community health worker Celine Edjeou can treat the most dangerous threats to children—malaria, diarrhea, and pneumonia—before they become life-threatening, saving the villagers long trips to a health center.

Afghanistan. {Photo credit: MSH.}Photo credit: MSH.

In a country the size of Texas with 80 percent of its 25 million people living in underdeveloped rural areas, immunizing every child against common illnesses is no small challenge. BASICS Afghanistan, funded by USAID and led by MSH, is working with the Afghan Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) and UNICEF to improve low vaccination rates in Afghanistan by engaging communities in identifying their local needs and tailoring vaccination campaigns accordingly.

When a parent dies from AIDS, the children left behind often suffer not only the loss of a loved one, but also the loss of financial support, making daily survival a challenge and education a dream. USAID’s Community Based Support for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (CUBS) Project, led by MSH and Africare, is providing assistance to the communities that support these children in 11 Nigerian states.

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