New Partnership Brings Key Leaders in Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Together to Improve Quality of Care in Low-Income Countries

Jun 14, 2012, 14:20 ET from Survive and Thrive

"Survive and Thrive" to maximize the resources and expertise of professional associations, private sector and the U.S. Government to better serve mothers and children from pregnancy through age five

WASHINGTON, June 14, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today announced the establishment of a unique and historic global development alliance (GDA) -- Survive and Thrive: Professional Associations, Private Sector and Global Health Scholars Saving Mothers, Newborns and Children -- to improve survival rates for women and children around the world. The new alliance will mobilize U.S. obstetric, pediatric and midwifery professional associations alongside the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), private sector and civil society organizations in a first-of-its-kind partnership to improve the quality of facility-based maternal, newborn and child health services to reduce preventable maternal and child deaths.

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Survive and Thrive draws upon the resources and expertise of some of the most respected United States and global organizations in maternal and child health. The alliance aims to energize critical health care interventions during the time when mothers and their children are most vulnerable -- from pregnancy through childbirth, and childhood through age five. The partnership will expand clinical competencies among health professionals who care for women, newborns and children; scale up quality improvement processes and approaches; bring affordable technologies and innovative educational materials and products to health professionals and their patients; accelerate efforts to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of these programs so that they can be scaled accordingly; and create learning opportunities for emerging global health leaders.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Nurse-Midwives, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Johnson & Johnson, Laerdal Global Health and Save the Children have signed on to the partnership initiated by the USAID to increase the availability of high-quality, high-impact maternal, newborn and child health services in health facilities around the world. Johnson & Johnson and Laerdal Global Health have each committed $1 million USD for the three-year effort, in addition to USAID's initial $1.5 million USD that is anticipated to increase as the program rolls out. More organizations are expected -- and encouraged -- to participate.

"None of us wants to live in a world where a child's life comes down to luck of the draw," said Secretary Clinton. "Survive and Thrive will connect healthcare professionals with their counterparts in low- and middle-income countries so they can share insights and strengthen their skills in caring for mothers, newborns and young children."

Globally, more than 280,000 women do not survive pregnancy and childbirth. More than 7 million children die before their fifth birthday; 3.1 million of these are newborns. The unprecedented approach of Survive and Thrive aligns with the U.S. Government's Global Health Initiative goal of reducing maternal mortality by 30 percent and child mortality by 35 percent, and to support the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for maternal and child health.

The alliance aims to magnify its impact on these goals in several ways. It will "twin" members of U.S. professional health care associations with in-country professional association members to encourage learning and development through a peer-to-peer and partnership approach. This effort also seeks to mobilize and equip senior volunteer members from U.S., international and national professional associations to strengthen the skills of health workers and champion maternal, newborn and child health programs in low- and middle-income countries. In addition, the alliance will nurture emerging leaders in global health by creating Global Health Fellows, a new kind of internship opportunity for newly-graduated clinicians. Fellows will have an opportunity to learn in low-resource settings alongside leading U.S. and in-country professional experts to nurture a passion for global health, and go on to become teachers themselves, building the skills of future clinicians.

SOURCE Survive and Thrive