Acting on the Call report highlights USAID ASSIST's work

USAID is working to end preventable child and maternal deaths around the world, with the achievable goal of saving 15 million children and 600,000 women between 2012 and 2020.  By partnering with country governments, USAID is helping to apply simple, cost effective programs to improve the health of women and children around the world, through several approaches.

Every year since the Child Survival: Call to Action Summit in 2012, USAID has published a comprehensive progress report that follows a theme and provides country-specific updates. The 2017 Acting on the Call report consists of data from 25 priority countries and provides quantitative estimates of the value of investing in strengthening health systems in terms of the numbers of lives that will be saved. The report highlights some of the work of the Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) project, managed by URC, in India, Malawi, and Uganda.

These highlights are quoted below:

In India, USAID has built the capacity of health providers in over 120 health facilities that provide care to 350,000 deliveries per year. This effort established teams that identified quality gaps in maternal and newborn care, developed and tested changes, and sustained improvements. Within two years, the quality improvement efforts resulted in a 15 percent reduction in perinatal mortality. Building on this successful experience, USAID is strengthening the capacity of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences to serve as a center of excellence to spread hospital-based quality improvement among hospitals in India and in the South Asia region.

USAID is a key supporter of the Quality, Equity, Dignity Network that was launched by WHO and the Government of Malawi. In support of the Every Woman and Every Child movement, national governments from nine first wave countries and partners have joined forces to establish a network to improve the quality of care provided to mothers, newborns, and children, with an ambitious target of halving maternal and newborn deaths in facilities in five years. The network aims to operationalize the vision for QoC for mothers and newborns through coordinated actions and investments.

USAID has strategically focused on addressing sepsis, or infection, management because of persistent and widespread systems challenges including: delays in care seeking by families, inability to refer many sick babies to the hospital, diagnostic challenges for frontline health workers, lack of access to antibiotics, inappropriate antibiotic use when available, and poor follow-up. These problems can contribute to preventable morbidity and mortality among newborns with treatable infections….

In Uganda, USAID is implementing activities to use the new WHO approach to increase access to treatment among babies who cannot get to a hospital for care. Interventions include assessment and classification of sick children and prevention and treatment of infections in young infants; regular coaching and problem solving among health providers to plan, implement, continuously assess and refine interventions; improvement in the antibiotic supply system; and capacity building for facility and district level staff.

Access background information about the 2017 report here, and read about the entire Acting on the Call program in detail here.

May 23, 2017
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