Maternal, Newborn and Child Health
Healthy women are the foundation of a strong community, and healthy newborns are the future. Yet each year, more than 500,000 women die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth, and an estimated four million newborns die within the first month of life.1 The vast majority of these deaths occur in developing countries,where adequate health services are often unavailable or inaccessible—leading many women to give birth in facilities without adequate equipment and services, as well as at home without skilled providers. Adding to the tragic loss of so many lives is that the most common causes of maternal and neonatal death and disability can be prevented or managed through high-impact, low-cost interventions that are proven to save lives.
Since 1998, Jhpiego has led the U.S. Agency for International Development’s flagship global programs to increase maternal and newborn health and survival and presently directs the Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP, 2008–2013). As the lead partner in these multifaceted, international programs, Jhpiego plays a critical role in guiding the world’s efforts toward attainment of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals for reducing maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality.
As with all of our efforts, Jhpiego’s ultimate goal is sustainability—leaving behind a well-prepared network of health care professionals and a strong foundation that they can build upon when we move on.
What Jhpiego Is Doing
Jhpiego has maternal and newborn health programs in more than 25 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Our collaborations focus on an expanding range of critical technical interventions—drawing on our clinical expertise in obstetrics/gynecology, midwifery and newborn health—including:
- Increased access to and use of skilled providers to deliver maternal and newborn care—the single most important intervention in saving lives
- Integration of a broad range of services for improving maternal and newborn outcomes into the platform of focused antenatal care, which promotes a basic package of interventions delivered in at least four visits
- Increased access to and use of basic and comprehensive emergency obstetric and newborn care,helping to ensure that the approximately 15% of births that develop complications are promptly identified and managed
- Provision of family planning information and services during the postpartum period, which has the potential to reach over 90% of women of reproductive age in high-fertility settings
- Prevention and treatment of malaria in pregnancy, a major cause of maternal and newborn death in endemic countries
- Prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, the main cause of HIV/AIDS in children
- Prevention and treatment of postpartum hemorrhage; prolonged/obstructed labor, a major cause of obstetric fistula; and pre-eclampsia/eclampsia,among the most common and readily preventable causes of maternal and newborn deaths
- Increased access and use of quality postabortion care services to prevent mortality from abortion complications
- Improved quality of services and infection prevention practices that help reduce postpartum and newborn infections
2 With funding from USAID; global entities, such as the British Department for International Development (DFID), UNICEF and the World Health Organization; and private corporations and foundations, including ExxonMobil and the MacArthur Foundation.