Improving tools, technologies, and treatments.
To address the primary risk factors for maternal and neonatal deaths, we work to adapt current preventive and curative tools, technologies, and treatments as well as develop new ones that are more effective and affordable and will be more readily accepted by families and frontline health workers in rural and community clinics. These include managing postpartum hemorrhage with drugs such as oxytocin and misoprostol and preventing and treating newborn infections using simplified antibiotic treatment regimens and cleaning of the umbilical cord.
Improving health practices.
A health extension worker makes a home visit in Mojo, a town in Central Ethiopia.
We work to identify and reduce barriers to adoption of effective interventions, disseminate information about maternal and neonatal health, conduct large-scale educational campaigns, mobilize local networks to improve household and community practices and social norms, and reduce financial barriers to obtaining care.
Enhancing frontline health workers’ skills.
We work to help community-level healthcare providers—particularly in northern India, Ethiopia, and northern Nigeria—advance their knowledge, skills, and use of innovative tools.
Increasing funding and improving policies.
According to the World Health Organization, achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals for maternal and child health will require a substantial ongoing investment. We support efforts to increase funding and build on our partners efforts globally and at the country level. We also work to develop policies and strategies that enable countries to increase use of lifesaving health interventions, raise awareness of overlooked risk factors for neonatal and maternal mortality, and expand the use of essential medicines.
Extending benefits beyond the neonatal period.
We believe that strengthening the skills of frontline health workers can benefit children in the critical period between birth and age 2. For example, good health practices such as hand washing, immunization, postpartum family planning, and exclusive breastfeeding can lead to improved outcomes for mothers and children as well as mitigate childhood illnesses such as pneumonia, diarrhea, and undernutrition.