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Jhpiego, GE Foundation Join Together to Strengthen Health Services in Myanmar

Baltimore, MD—Jhpiego, a global health non-profit and affiliate of Johns Hopkins University, announced today its partnership with the Government of Myanmar and the GE Foundation to strengthen public health services for women in Yangon and prevent mothers and newborns from dying in childbirth.

Jhpiego is among the first international health organizations invited by the Ministry of Health in Yangon to join its efforts to provide quality health care services to mothers and newborns. Through a three-year, $2.5 million grant from the GE Foundation’s Developing Health Globally initiative, Jhpiego will work with Myanmar health officials to reduce maternal sepsis at government-operated, district-level hospitals and health centers, as well as improve other aspects of maternal and newborn care. At 280 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, the maternal mortality ratio in Myanmar is higher than regional averages, and at least 2,400 pregnant women die every year from largely preventable causes.

“Jhpiego is thrilled to have the opportunity to help prevent the needless deaths of mothers and babies in Myanmar,” said Jhpiego’s President and CEO Dr. Leslie Mancuso. “Jhpiego is committed to innovative solutions so women and their children can survive childbirth and thrive.”

A spokesperson for Myanmar’s Ministry of Health said, “We look forward to working with Jhpiego to help strengthen maternal health services in Myanmar. Jhpiego is among the first non-profit organizations invited by the Ministry of Health and the present government to join us in this important lifesaving work. We are pleased to have their experts working alongside our health leaders and professionals to benefit pregnant women and mothers.”

Jhpiego first met Government of Myanmar officials in the spring of 2012. At the invitation of Johns Hopkins University, key Ministry of Health officials came to Baltimore to discuss possible collaborations, a historic series of meetings that included Jhpiego leaders. Follow-up conversations took place at a later Jhpiego-led, global health meeting in Dhaka, Bangladesh. In February, Jhpiego maternal health experts were invited to Yangon by the Ministry of Health and visited several health centers and hospitals, as well as midwifery schools. Facilities were extremely clean and health providers were enthusiastic about the possibility of updating their skills through educational and clinical opportunities.

Additionally, with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development, Johnson & Johnson and Lærdal Global Health, Jhpiego is leading efforts in Myanmar on “Survive and Thrive,” an initiative under the Global Development Alliance Program to strengthen the capacity of midwives.

For more information, contact Melody McCoy, Vice President for External Relations and Communications, at 410-537-1829 or melody.mccoy@jhpiego.org.