Advancing Newborn, Child and Reproductive Health (ANCRE) Program


The Advancing Newborn, Child, and Reproductive Health (ANCRE) Program supports USAID/Benin’s Integrated Family Health Program to improve the quality and coverage of the government of Benin’s (GOB) Package of High-Impact Interventions (PIHI). ANCRE contributes to reductions in neonatal, infant, child, and maternal morbidity and mortality; addresses gender and cultural constraints that hinder access to quality healthcare; and provides innovative communication strategies associated with key PIHI health services. University Research Co., LLC (URC) and its partners share the vision that improved quality and performance of healthcare delivery in Benin is achievable by 2018 through strengthening of public and private health services, creating a more fully aware and empowered population, and increasing preventative and care-seeking behavior.

ANCRE also provides technical and material assistance to the public health sector to reinforce the response capacity of health services related to the detection and control of infectious disease outbreaks, including Ebola. While URC will focus its efforts on the Ebola virus disease and other viral hemorrhagic fevers, the work with MOH counterparts will have long-term effects on strengthening Benin’s health system by building the capacity of healthcare professionals to comply with the requirements of the International Health Regulations and recognize and optimally respond other emerging health problems. This support consists of the following:

  • Capacity building, supportive supervision and mentoring using quality improvement approaches to ensure that protocols, procedures, and standards are validated, disseminated, implemented, and continuously improved;
  • Ensuring that priority health facilities have the essential equipment and detection, isolation and care processes in place to detect and respond to EVD/VHF, including designated and appropriately equipped isolation rooms;
  • Supporting and strengthening infection control systems and procedures;
  • Institutionalizing surveillance systems; and
  • Running drills/simulations at the national and local levels.

The URC team employs four key strategies to support the GOB’s efforts to achieve improved, sustainable health outcomes:

  • Scaling Up and Sustaining Benin’s PIHI: Strengthening the capacity of central, regional, and zonal partners to deliver an integrated PIHI in conjunction with robust management support systems. 
  • Integrating Care Across Life Cycles & Service Levels: Ensuring that priority newborn, child, and reproductive health interventions are packaged, integrated, and coordinated across the life cycle (pregnancy, birth, postpartum/neonatal, child) and service delivery (household/community, clinic, hospital) continuums.
  • Prioritizing Gender & Equity: Raising gender awareness, particularly on the topic of equitable, appropriate services and care-seeking behaviors among decision makers, community leaders, healthcare providers, and among male relatives.
  • Systematizing Continuous & Shared Learning: Through APRECIE: Apprentissage Collaboratif et Echange (Collaborative Learning and Exchange), supporting DSME-led continuous learning and adaptation of scale-up strategies and assisting healthcare providers in facilities and at the community level to effectively use data from routine health information systems and those generated through quality improvement initiatives.



  • Je suis médecin, a series of booklets that help sensitize and educate private health professionals on national registration and licensing regulations. The booklets have been widely distributed to health professionals and facility owners to encourage unauthorized facilities to comply with national regulations for delivery of higher quality health services.




2014 to 2018
US Agency for International Development (USAID)
Benin Ministry of Health's Directorate for Maternal and Child Health (DSME)
Results for Development Institute (R4D)
Local Beninese Partners
Regions/ Countries 
Geographic Scope 
Kandi-Ségbana-Gogounou, Cové-Ouinhi-Zangnanado, Savalou-Bantè, Djougou-Ouaké-Copargo, Bassila, Abomey-Calavi-Sô Ava, Allada-Ze-Toffo, Cotonou 2 & 3, Tchaourou, Comè-Bopa-Grand-Popo-Houéyogbé