TN – Reducing Maternal and Neonatal Mortality

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The Nossal Institute for Global Health

The Nossal Institute for Global Health is committed to improving global health through research, education, inclusive development practice, and training of future leaders.

The Nossal Institute works in partnership with other organisations who share its vision of improving health where health is at its poorest.

Named in honour of Sir Gustav Nossal and his commitment to translating medical research into health for all, the Nossal Institute utilises the multi-disciplinary research and educational capabilities provided by the University of Melbourne and, in collaboration with strategic partners, builds and exchanges knowledge and expertise to improve health in areas where it is most needed.

The Nossal Institute is a not-for-profit organisation whose approach is based on the principles of social equity and the capacity development of local partners.

via About Us – The Nossal Institute for Global Health.

Engender Health

EngenderHealth works to improve the health and well-being of people in the poorest communities of the world. We do this by sharing our expertise in sexual and reproductive health and transforming the quality of health care. We promote gender equity, advocate for sound practices and policies, and inspire people to assert their rights to better, healthier lives. Working in partnership with local organizations, we adapt our work in response to local needs.

Engender Health has a Youtube channel – with films on Health. This is a good example of the use of media in a Maternal Health improvement program.


If you haven’t met us yet, watch this quick introduction to our work around the world.

via YouTube – engenderhealth’s Channel.

UNICEF India – Health

Purulia, West Bengal: A visit to Badakhula village in Purulia district can be an eye-opener. Badakhula has no electricity, no land or cellphones – one among the several ‘no connectivity villages’ in a country emerging as a global hub of information technology.

To get to Badakhula in Bandwan block in south-east Purulia, you have to drive through dense teak forests, down mud tracks. Most people in this impoverished pocket live off forest produce or are marginal farmers. Women in labour have to trudge a mile to get to the nearest health sub-centre. From there, they can hire a jeep to take them to the block primary health centre. Those who are not physically in a condition to walk that distance are carried in a ‘duliya’ (a string cot) by able-bodied men in the village.

But this April, there was a buzz in Badakhula with the arrival of a “van rickshaw”, a locally manufactured innovation to make it easier for expecting mothers to reach a hospital.

via UNICEF India – Health.

Project Construction

The research project has an action research focus. At this stage I have been using a presentation – that is very cryptic without me explaining the bullet points – as a way to go around talking to colleagues and others interested in the project.

The presentation is posted here: The Maternal Health Project.

Doctor at large: India Today

He is a product of India who is trying to save Bharat. That, in a gist, sums up the good doctor who, in the middle of Bodoland in Assam’s Chirang district, is bringing about a silent movement eradicating the deadly malaria, running a weavers’ network and guiding other NGOs in the region.

An MBBS from Pune and trained at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Dr Sunil Kaul realised that his true calling lay in the rural heartland where even basic healthcare was a rarity.

In 2000, he quit the army and, with his wife Jennifer Liang, founded the Action Northeast Trust (ANT) in Bongaigaon. They have a daughter whom they have named Aman Gwjwn. The last name means “peace” in Bodo.

The foundation’s most powerful impact has been in controlling malaria in Chirang. Kaul set up laboratories in remote places and trained locals in conducting blood tests and identifying the malaria parasite.

via Doctor at large: India Today – Latest Breaking News from India, World, Business, Cricket, Sports, Bollywood..

Want to help the Maternal Health Task Force become a better resource for maternal health professionals? « Maternal Mortality Daily

In November, the Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) at EngenderHealth launched a website with the goal of increasing communication and knowledge sharing within the international maternal health community—and the larger global health community.

via Want to help the Maternal Health Task Force become a better resource for maternal health professionals? « Maternal Mortality Daily.

Healthy Mothers, Strong World: The Next Generation of Ideas for Maternal Health | Changemakers

Strong mothers enable children, families, communities and economies to grow and thrive. And we have the power to end preventable maternal death and disability in our lifetime.

Ashoka and the Maternal Health Task Force are partnering to transform the maternal health field. We invite you, our Changemakers community, to become Young Champions of Maternal Health and Changemakers Prize Winners.

via Healthy Mothers, Strong World: The Next Generation of Ideas for Maternal Health | Changemakers.

PHFI : Public Health Foundation of India

The Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) is a response to redress the limited institutional capacity in India for strengthening training, research and policy development in the area of Public Health. It is a public private partnership that was collaboratively evolved through consultations with multiple constituencies.

via PHFI : Public Health Foundation of India.

Global Maternal Health Conference 2010

Global Maternal Health Conference 2010

India Habitat Centre

New Delhi, India

August 30, 31, September 1

The Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) and the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) are pleased to announce the Global Maternal Health Conference 2010. Together, MHTF and PHFI will convene an unprecedented gathering of approximately 500 maternal health experts and their allies in a global technical and programmatic meeting focused exclusively on maternal health.

The Global Maternal Health Conference 2010 aims to build on the existing momentum around MDG5 to coalesce and catalyze the maternal health field. Lessons learned, neglected issues, and innovative thinking will be the underpinnings of the conference, and the anticipated outcome is increased consensus around the evidence, programs and advocacy needed to improve maternal health.

Preparations are underway:

• A 25-member steering committee of experts from around the world has been convened to set the conference agenda.

• Scientific subcommittees will be appointed to select presentations within each of the themes set by the steering committee.

• A robust youth program is envisioned, involving the Ashoka/MHTF Young Champions of Maternal Health and young Indian professionals recruited by the PHFI.

• A prodigious scholarship program is being established to ensure broad participation from all regions of the world.

Soon, the steering committee will confirm the conference themes, and a call for abstracts will be issued. Simultaneously, registration for Global Maternal Health Conference 2010 will open and the scholarship application process will be announced. Details will be available at and

via Global Maternal Health Conference 2010.

Technologies That Empower Women – The Daily Beast

3. Birthing Kits

Soap. A plastic sheet. A new razor blade. Some string. As low-tech as you can get, but each of the many thousands of 25-cent birthing kits distributed through health and relief organizations can save a life, according to research supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. According to PATH, an international nonprofit that has distributed these simple kits in countries including Bangladesh, Egypt, and Nepal, infection is a leading cause of death for some 1,600 women each day from complications associated with childbirth. Nearly 1 million newborns die each year of infection. With 57 million women giving birth each year without trained health-care assistance, birthing kits pack a huge potential impact.

via Technologies That Empower Women – The Daily Beast.

IndiaDaily – India’s double standard on international aid as donor and receiver

The previous government had restricted bilateral aid to six donors – UK, US, Russia, Germany, Japan and the EU – in a bid to style itself a donor rather than a recipient of aid. But last week New Delhi reinstated donors such as Canada, France, Italy and the Scandinavian countries.

via IndiaDaily – India’s double standard on international aid as donor and receiver.


Country Program estimate 2009-10: $5.3 million

Total estimated ODA for 2009-10: $13.672 million

The Australian government is assisting India through partnerships with UN agencies and Development Banks. The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) also has a significant program of assistance to India.

A major multilateral HIV/AIDS program in North-East India commenced in late-2006.

via India.

Better trained midwives reduce maternal mortality – Sida – Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency

Programmes and Projects

Better trained midwives reduce maternal mortality

Published: Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Changed: Thursday, January 28, 2010

Every day, 15,000 women in the world die due to pregnancy complications and childbirth. Maternal mortality claims more victims on a daily basis than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. In India, Sida is providing support to train midwives to ensure better maternal health care for women and safer childbirths.

Countries around the world have agreed to reduce maternal mortality by 75 per cent between 1990 and 2015 as part of the fifth UN-mandated Millennium Development Goal. But maternal mortality has not fallen at all in low-income countries for the last 20 years. It is the single Millennium Development Goal that has not shown any progress so far.

A lack of political will and effective contributions is exposing the majority of women around the world to major risks.

Kyllike Christensson, a midwife and professor in reproductive health at Karolinska Institutet, says: “Imagine if 15,000 men around the world died every day – those in power would never accept that. That’s why this is principally a question of democracy and equality.”

In cooperation with Sida and the Swedish Association of Midwives, Karolinska Institutet is responsible for running a training programme for midwives in India. About 100,000 women die every year there due to pregnancy and childbirth complications.

via Better trained midwives reduce maternal mortality – Sida – Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.

UNICEF – India – Defying the pressure to marry young in India

RAJASTHAN, India, 22 January 2010 – When Asu Kawar was 13-years-old, her community and family decided that she should be married to a man more than twice her age.

“At the age of fourteen, girls usually get married in the villages,” said Jedhu Singh, Asu’s uncle.

Even though it’s illegal, child marriage is common in rural areas of India such as Rajasthan, where the social and economic pressures to defy the law are immense. More than fifty per cent of girls are married by age 18.

via UNICEF – India – Defying the pressure to marry young in India.

Projects – India: World Bank Supports Health Systems Improvements In Tamil Nadu

Washington, DC —The World Bank today approved a credit of US$110.83 million to help the Indian state of Tamil Nadu improve the effectiveness of its health system, both public and private.

The World Bank’s involvement in the Tamil Nadu Health Systems Project will help introduce new approaches in the way the health sector functions in the state, such as promoting collaboration with the private sector, adopting quality assurance mechanisms, and addressing the growing burden of non-communicable diseases. While the health system in Tamil Nadu has been fairly effective in providing basic health needs to its people, it is expected that the goals sought in this project will demonstrate the impact of cutting-edge reforms.

Tamil Nadu has successfully delivered preventive services, like immunization, with the result that there has been considerable improvement over time in its infant mortality rate (IMR) and the under-five mortality rate. From 1992 to 1999, IMR declined from 71 to 48 per thousand, and the under-five mortality rate dropped from 97 to 63 per thousand. However, these rates are still much higher than those in Sri Lanka and the neighboring State of Kerala, where, for example, IMRs are 12 and 16, respectively.

via Projects – India: World Bank Supports Health Systems Improvements In Tamil Nadu.

Projects – India: Reducing Maternal and Neonatal Mortality in Tamil Nadu

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UNDP Enhancing Women’s Role and Participation in Governance | United Nations Development Programme

UNDP enhancing women’s role and participation in governance

India has more women elected representatives than all other countries put together and now with the parliamentary representation of women going up to 10 percent in the just concluded nation-wide election, efforts to help women lead socio-political change seem to be bearing fruits.

Sulochana Mulgi is an elected representative of Manedi Panchayat in Bidar district of the southern Indian state of Karnataka. But she never felt like a leader until some time ago. “The secretary of the Panchayat and the junior engineer used to mock me with questions they knew I did not have the answers to whenever I used to try to speak in a meeting,” she says.

“But now I question their work. They are accountable to me,” says Sulochana who underwent a training supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with others including the government’s Ministry of Panchayati Raj. Shobhasani Saran, an elected representative from eastern Indian state of West Bengal, says she is no longer a mere puppet in the system. “I no longer sign blank cheques; I keep track of all the money.

via UNDP Enhancing Women’s Role and Participation in Governance | United Nations Development Programme.

Azad, Bill Gates discuss ways to strengthen health scenario in India

New Delhi, July 24 (ANI): Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad today met Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to discuss their shared commitment to promote various health activities in India.

Azad appreciated the work being done by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for its continued support to the National Aids Control Programme through AVAHAN and to support for the National Polio Programme.

Azad reiterated the Government commitment to meet the MDG goals particularly relating to reduction in IMR & MMR as well as reduction in Morbidity and Mortality Rate and also other diseases like HIV AIDS, TB, Malaria etc.

Commenting on the Universal Immunisation Programme, Azad informed the visiting dignitaries about the road map for introduction of new vaccines to cover more vaccine preventable diseases.

In this context, he appreciated the efforts being made by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to discover and develop new vaccines and requested Mr. Gates for its continued support to the health Programme in India.

via Azad, Bill Gates discuss ways to strengthen health scenario in India.

ASHA scheme makes ”health for all” possible in Punjab village

Sitto Village (Punjab), Mar 20 (ANI): In an effort to make ”health for all” possible in Sitto village in Punjab, the Government is implementing the Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) scheme under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).

Under the scheme, ASHA workers are not only trying to create increased health awareness among women, but are also trying to increase the manpower of the health department in the state.

“The main aim of implementing ASHA scheme is to decrease the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) which was very high here. An effort was made to lower the infant deaths during the delivery,” said Jaspal Singh, sub-divisional medical officer.

The results of the scheme are visible and the mortality among the women and children has fallen.

Nirmala, an ASHA worker, said: “We are employed under the ASHA workers scheme. The government has helped us a lot. We go from house-to-house and urge the pregnant women to deliver only in the hospitals. If there is a need for immunization, we tell them to get it done in the hospitals as the government is doing it for free.”

via ASHA scheme makes ”health for all” possible in Punjab village.

77,000 Indian women die every year at childbirth

New Delhi, March 10 (IANS) At least 77,000 mothers in India die every year during child birth, Minister of State for Women and Child Development Renuka Chowdhury said Monday. Chowdhury told the Rajya Sabha that the latest survey report of the Registrar General of India published in 2006, the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) for India is 301 per 100,000 live births.

It “translates into about 77,000 maternal deaths per year or in other words 211 maternal deaths per day”.

She said in order to bring a reduction in MMR, the central government has initiated certain programmes like Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY), for institutional delivery and appointment of Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) for every village.

She said the government is also working to prevention and treat anemia. Nearly 60 percent of Indian women are anaemic. Supplementary nutrition to pregnant and lactating women under the integrated child development scheme are also been given, the minister explained.

via 77,000 Indian women die every year at childbirth.

Rural health schemes benefits tribals in Tripura

Agartala, Mar 7 (ANI): The implementation of various schemes in Tripura under the National Rural Health Scheme has given a reason to smile to the locals. Various health schemes under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) are being implemented with an aim to bring down the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR).

“NRHM can play a very important role in tribal areas where it is still difficult to reach medical services due to inaccessibility,” said L Darlong, Mission Director of NRHM, Tripura.

The schemes are not only trying to create an increased health awareness among the poor, but also to increase the manpower of the health department in the state.

New well equipped hospitals and health centers are also being constructed in the remote of the regions to provide instant aid to the people. Further, to spread awareness, tribals are being educated through puppet shows, road shows and folk songs.

via Rural health schemes benefits tribals in Tripura.

A ray of hope for expectant mothers in Maoists affected Chhattisgarh

Bilha (Chhattisgarh), Aug.18 (ANI): An ambulance service has come as a boon for expectant mothers, especially for those in their advanced stage of pregnancy, in Chhattisgarh’s Bilaspur district.

Till recently, the expectant mothers and other family members remained a worried lot since commuting to the nearest primary health centre (PHC) or the district hospital involved a big risk of life and safety in this Maoist-affected region.

Thanks to the initiative of the State government, now such fears are allayed with the introduction of an ambulance service exclusively for expectant mothers and it is named ‘Matahari Express’.

via A ray of hope for expectant mothers in Maoists affected Chhattisgarh.

Survey to check villagers’ health, flagship scheme’s impact

New Delhi, Sep 10 (IANS) A survey will be taken up in nine states to assess the health of rural population since the launch of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).

The annual health survey will be carried out in Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattishgarh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan and Assam by the health ministry, the home ministry and the Registrar General of India (RGI).

The decision was taken Thursday at a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and was announced by Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni.

The survey aims to provide feedback on the impact of the schemes under NRHM, launched in 2005, in reduction of the Total Fertility Rate (TFR), Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) at the district level and the Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) at the regional level by estimating these rates on an annual basis for 284 districts in these states.

via Survey to check villagers’ health, flagship scheme’s impact.

Improvement of maternal health a far cry in Orissa

New Delhi, June 30 (IANS) In spite of the government’s claims that rural health is undergoing a massive change under its flagship programme, a survey by a federation of advocacy agencies Tuesday said quality of healthcare is too bad in Orissa and women are dying in hospitals during child-births.

“Earlier many women were dying at home during baby-birth and now they are facing the same situation at health centres,” said Nabin Kumar Pati, co-chairman of the White Ribbon Alliance, India.

A survey by the alliance that is a conglomerate of 1,500 organisations in 12 districts of Orissa found that implementation of safe motherhood policies and programmes have implementation problems.

The findings revealed that 52 percent of the Auxillary Nurse Midwife (ANM) have no weighing machines and 55 percent don’t have blood pressure measuring instruments. ANMs play a key role in imparting health care to women and children in rural India.

via Improvement of maternal health a far cry in Orissa.