The days and weeks immediately after birth can be the most dangerous for mothers and their newborn babies. Although great progress has been made in reducing the number of maternal and newborn deaths worldwide, mothers and babies continue to die from treatable conditions. Every year, an estimated 358,000 mothers die from pregnancy- and childbirth-related complications and 3.1 million neonatal deaths occur due to infections, birth asphyxia, and birth complications.
Abt Associates’ approach to maternal and newborn health supports cost-effective interventions that are appropriate for low-resource settings. Our maternal and newborn health programs incorporate community involvement, evidence-based interventions, and improved quality of care and delivery of services. We work through the continuum of care, from pre-pregnancy to the post-partum period.
We have been implementing sustainable maternal, newborn and child health programs for more than two decades. We understand the importance of healthy mothers and children for a country’s economic growth. We focus on interventions throughout the continuum of care that incorporate community involvement, are evidence-based, and improve the quality of care and delivery of services. We link improvements in delivery of maternal, newborn, and child health services to health systems strengthening efforts to ensure interventions are institutionalized and sustained.
AUSTRALIA: Will improving the health of Indigenous mothers impact the future of their children?
Although comparable programs have been conducted in other parts of the world, the Australian Nurse-Family Partnership Program (ANFPP) marks the first time Australia has undertaken a sustained program focused on improving maternal health and early childhood development among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. To ensure reliable answers to questions such as how behavior change happens and what are the best practices for building life skills, as well as guarantee the validity of long-term outcomes, Abt JTA was charged with training, as well as monitoring and evaluating the program. Now, in the project’s fifth year, Abt JTA analyzes 1,000 data points for every participant, every three to six months, and ensures practitioners working under different lead organizations all adhere to the same program parameters.
CLIENT: Australian Government / PROJECT: The Australian Nurse-Family Partnership Program (ANFPP)
NIGERIA: How can innovative thinking lower maternal death rates in conflict zones?
Half of all Nigerians live in rural areas, with limited access to health care. Thousands of deaths from obstetric complications each year are blamed on lack of transportation, which is further complicated by ongoing conflict. The Emergency Transport Scheme (ETS), led by Abt Associates, is working to improve emergency obstetric care in many of the highest conflict zones by training taxi drivers to provide volunteer emergency transportation. Since its launch in 2012, Abt has recruited and schooled nearly 900 taxi drivers on basic emergency procedures, and more than 4,600 women have utilized the ETS. Based on the success of the program in saving women’s lives, the governors of Kaduna and Kano hope to roll it out throughout their states.
CLIENT: DFID / PROJECT: Partnership for Transforming Health Systems II (PATHS2) Emergency Transport Scheme (ETS)