New global partnership to save lives at birth
9 MARCH 2011 - PMNCH Partners USAID, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Bank have launched a new partnership with the Government of Norway and Grand Challenges Canada to seek innovative solutions to reduce maternal and newborn mortality in developing countries. Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development will call on the brightest minds across the globe to identify and scale up transformative prevention and treatment approaches for pregnant women and newborns in rural, low-resource settings around the time of birth.
Partners expect to provide nearly $14 million for this grant program’s first round of funding. Over 5 years, the partners aim to invest at least $50 million in groundbreaking and sustainable projects with the potential to have a transformative effect on the lives of pregnant women and their babies in the hardest to reach corners of the world.
This new grand challenge will seek innovative approaches to prevention and treatment across the following three areas:
Technologies — Saving Lives at Birth will seek a solution to the lack of medical technologies appropriate for communities or clinic settings. The partnership will invite bold ideas for science and technology advances that prevent, detect or treat maternal and newborn problems at the time of birth. Examples include simpler or portable technologies for newborn resuscitation, feeding, warming, and care of preterm and low birthweight newborns, infection management, and prevention and treatment of hypertensive disorders like preeclampsia/eclampsia."
Delivery — There are too few trained, motivated, equipped and properly located health staff and caregivers. Saving Lives at Birth will invite bold ideas for new approaches to provide high-quality care at the time of birth. Examples may include new ways of using information and communication technology (ICT) to improve health and healthcare delivery in rural areas, approaches that bring the benefits of fixed health systems to the community setting, new incentive plans for recruiting and retaining skilled personnel, training programs for community-based or alternative health workers, or better ways to refer and transport sick newborns and mothers with complications.
Demand — Mothers in resource-poor settings often lack information about what services they need, what they can do, and what a difference it can make to access health care or adopt healthy behaviors. Saving Lives at Birth will invite bold ideas for empowering and engaging pregnant women and their families. Examples may include innovative use of Information and computer technology (ICT) to incentivize individuals to seek care and/or adopt healthy behaviors; or mass communication methods that can change individual and collective behavior to improve outcomes around the time of birth.