Abt Associates: Bold thinkers driving real-world impact
Maternal, Newborn, & Child Health & Child Survival
This year, six million fewer children will die before their fifth birthday than in 1990. A quarter million fewer women will die during pregnancy. U.S. foreign assistance has played a leading role in achieving these results, dramatically improving the health of children and pregnant women worldwide.
“The goal of ending most preventable child and maternal deaths is within reach,” said Diana Silimperi, division vice president of International Health at Abt Associates. “Now is not the time to rest on our accomplishments.”
Abt is participating in the Acting on the Call campaign and is committed to accelerating declines in global preventable maternal and child deaths. Abt also is part of the 5th Birthday and Beyond campaign, which is focused on the 6.6 million children who will die before their fifth birthday this year.
The vast majority of childhood and maternal deaths are preventable. A continued focus and innovative solutions are needed to ensure that these deaths continue to decline.
Gender Equity and
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Abt has years of experience working to improve women’s and children’s health in the U.S. and around the world. Abt contributes to reductions in childhood deaths and maternal mortality through its range of projects, many of which are funded by USAID, including the:
Expanding & Improving Family Planning/Reproductive Health Services
View the slideshow below to see some of Abt's efforts in child and maternal health.
A mother and her newborn child at the Queen Alia Hospital in Amman, Jordan, one of the 25 public facilities whose obstetrics and neonatal departments were renovated by the Jordan Health Systems Strengthening II (HSS II) project and its predecessor. HSS II is led by Abt Associates and funded by USAID.
This and other HSS II project assistance has contributed to a significant reduction in the maternal mortality ratio, from 41 per 100,000 live births in 1996 to 19 per 100,000 live births in 2008. The neonatal mortality ratio also has been reduced – from 20 per 1,000 live births down to 14 per 1,000 live births.
Photo credit: Ranya Abu-Sharar, Communications Specialist, HSS II
A government official in the Rift Valley town of Dareda, Tanzania, feeds porridge with Virutubishi to a local child.
Many children in Tanzania suffer from various forms of malnutrition, but the problem is not necessarily a lack of food, but a lack of the right kinds of foods that contain essential vitamins and minerals. Many young children eat little more than maize porridge.
The Abt Associates-led USAID Tuboreshe Chakula project — Swahili for “Let’s Improve Food” — carried out a month-long campaign to educate mothers, caregivers, health workers, local government officials, and the public on the importance of adding Virutubishi micronutrient powder to food given to children aged six months to five years.
The product was being consumed by 30 percent of the households in the project’s four target regions as of February 2014, one year after the project began. Tuboreshe Chakula is working in Zanzibar and three regions in the Rift Valley.
Photo credit: Brie Blacklidge, USAID Tuboreshe Chakula project
A child receives zinc treatment for diarrhea from her aunt at a pharmacy in Cape Coast, Ghana.
The Strengthening Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS) project, in partnership with the Ghana Health Service, developed a program for the national introduction of the new diarrhea treatment protocol. SHOPS partnered with a Ghanaian pharmaceutical firm to introduce zinc into the commercial market in Ghana. SHOPS also conducted diarrhea management trainings for licensed chemical sellers at drug shops such as this one.
With SHOPS support, more than 2 million diarrheal episodes have been treated in Ghana in the last two years. SHOPS also is a partner in the global effort against diarrhea and pneumonia.
Photo credit: Jessica Scranton
Safe Motherhood Action Group (SMAG) member Edson Zulu with new mothers he referred to the Chikomeni Rural Health Center in the rural district of Lundazi, Zambia.
The Abt Associates-led, USAID-funded Zambia Integrated Systems Strengthening Program (ZISSP) has been training SMAG members as part of the “Saving Mothers, Giving Life” initiative, created to reduce maternal mortality. Lundazi district has some of the highest maternal mortality rates in Zambia, but Zulu and other SMAG members noticed an increase in the number of women coming to deliver and seeking care before they deliver since he and other SMAG members were trained in early 2012.
“We are working to save lives in our communities,” Zulu said.
Photo credit: ZISSP
A mother and her child at the Hospital Antonio Musa in the Dominican Republic.
Health care providers in the Dominican Republic achieved significant reductions in maternal and infant deaths under the Maternal & Child Centers of Excellence project, led by Abt Associates and funded by USAID which ended earlier in 2014. The model emphasizes patient-centered, more humanized care.
The project also has received the ultimate endorsement: The Dominican government has taken over the effort and is using its own resources to roll it out to public and private health care facilities nationwide.
Photo credit: María Claudia De Valdenebro, Abt Associates
In this photo, Amina Abdu (right), a Partnership for Transforming Health Systems 2 (PATHS2) volunteer with Gurum Primary Health Center in the Tsanyawa local government area of Kano state, Nigeria, demonstrates hand washing to women in PATHS2-supported health facilities. Abdu also talks to women about the danger signs in pregnancy, proper nutrition, and other topics which contribute to maternal and child health challenges. Abt Associates leads PATHS2, which is funded by UKAID from the Department for International Development.
Photo credit: Vera Onyeaka, PATHS2
A child’s physical development is measured by a nurse as part of the Keeping Children Healthy/Early Childhood Development campaign in Turkmenabad, Turkmenistan. The campaign is partially supported by the USAID Quality Health Care Project (QHCP), led by Abt Associates and funded by USAID.
QHCP is using an integrated health systems approach to improve the health of Central Asians by strengthening health care systems and services, particularly in the areas of maternal and child health, HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis control, evidence-based medicine, and rational use of antibiotics.
Photo credit: Guljakhan Kadamova, QHCP
Kathleen Flanagan (left), Abt President and CEO, and Beth Paige, USAID Mission Director in Jordan (wearing brown), tour Karak Hospital during an April 29 inauguration of its renovated obstetrics, neonatal and emergency departments. The work, funded by USAID, was led by Abt Associates.
Health Systems Strengthening II (HSS II) project has established 12 training centers throughout Jordan to strengthen the capacity of health providers. The project supported development of clinical guidelines, nursing procedures, and service standards for maternal, neonatal, emergency, and family planning services. Using competency-based training, HSS II and MOH or RMS trainers have trained nearly 3,000 providers in family planning topics and over 3,200 in safe motherhood and/or neonatal care.
Photo credit: Mohammad Maghayda, HSS II
Women discuss their health care needs during a community mobilization event in Kano State in northern Nigeria – one in a series organized by the Abt Associates-led Partnership for Transforming Health Systems 2 (PATHS2) during its six years.
More than 2,000 people – including pregnant women and children – received health care services and communicated the community’s health needs to government officials.
Photo credit: Ayomipo Edinger, PATHS2
A woman with her newborn baby in Mt. Hagen, Papua New Guinea. Abt JTA, a subsidiary of Abt, is assisting disadvantaged women to learn about and gain access to family planning services. Through the Abt JTA Women’s Committee in Papua New Guinea, female staff plan activities and initiatives to raise awareness around gender equity and safe motherhood and support charity causes that promote social inclusion and women’s empowerment in the community.
Photo credit: Ruth Moiam, Abt JTA
Abt Associates seeks a world where no one dies from malaria, an entirely preventable and treatable disease that preys upon pregnant women and children under five, in particular. Abt, through projects such as the Africa Indoor Residual Spraying (AIRS) project, has protected more than 24 million Africans from malaria, including this family from Ethiopia who had their home sprayed by AIRS.
Photo credit: Lena Kolyada, AIRS
Women wait for vaccinations for their children at the ASACOLA I community health center in Bamako, Mali.
The Abt Associates-led Assistance Technique Nationale (ATN) Plus project, which ended in 2013, improved vaccination coverage in target districts by the Reach Every District approach to boosting routine immunization through community engagement and through an innovative pilot in one district which identified incompletely-vaccinated children during household visits for Polio National Immunization Days and resulted in 70 percent of these children completing their immunizations at the local health center.
Photo credit: Boubacar Traore, ATN Plus
Health care workers in Vakhdat, Tajikistan participate in a USAID Quality Health Care Project (QHCP) mentoring exercise by practicing newborn resuscitation.
QHCP is using an integrated health systems approach to improve the health of Central Asians by strengthening health care systems and services, particularly in the areas of maternal and child health, HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis control, evidence-based medicine, and rational use of antibiotics. QHCP is led by Abt Associates and funded by USAID.
Photo credit: Tahmina Jaborova, QHCP
Abt Associates is a mission-driven, global leader in research, evaluation and program implementation in the fields of health, social and environmental policy, and international development. Known for its rigorous approach to solving complex challenges, Abt Associates is regularly ranked as one of the top 20 global research firms and one of the top 40 international development innovators. The company has multiple offices in the U.S. and program offices in more than 40 countries.