Maternal and Child Health
USAID’s maternal and child survival programs envision a world where all women, newborns, and children survive and are healthy and able to reach their full potential, contributing to the development of their communities and countries.
Every year, more than 5 million children under age five and 200,000 women die from largely preventable causes. To prevent maternal and child deaths, USAID works to scale up coverage of the health interventions that are proven to reduce mortality. In partnership with host country governments, the civil and private sectors, faith-based organizations, and other key partners, USAID to save lives by reaching the most vulnerable women and children with high quality, respectful care.
Our maternal and child survival programs support countries to bring critical promotive, preventive, and curative health services closer to the communities who need them. By partnering directly with those communities, USAID ensures efforts are responsive to local priorities so that results are more likely to be effective, resilient, and sustained.
USAID Launches New Strategy To Prevent Child and Maternal Deaths
USAID’s 2021 Global Water and Development Report Shows Significant Progress
New Act Codifies USAID’s Leadership Position on Global Nutrition into Law
Recognizing Mental Health As Leading Complication Of Pregnancy And Childbirth
USAID And Vodafone Foundation Announce New Partnership With The Government Of Tanzania To Expand Maternal Health Emergency Transportation System
What We Do
To achieve this vision, USAID works to improve the coverage, quality, and equity of health interventions that can save, and have saved, millions of lives.
Maternal and Newborn Health: USAID programs support moms and babies through pregnancy, delivery, and beyond. Our investments train providers to deliver care in a manner that complies with established clinical standards and promotes dignity and respect.
Child Health: USAID investments prevent deadly illnesses and infections among children under the age of five. Our programs increase the quality and reach of child health services through the delivery of frontline care, emergency community-level child survival interventions, and promoting preventive care.
Immunization: USAID strengthens routine immunization systems to protect children and communities from infectious diseases, like measles and diphtheria. Through our global partnerships, USAID supports the accelerated introduction of new and underused vaccines.
Nutrition: USAID focuses on preventing all forms of undernutrition with an emphasis on the first 1,000 days—from the start of a woman’s pregnancy to a child’s second birthday—a period in which good nutrition is critical for optimal physical and cognitive development.
Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene: USAID investments in water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) support governments, the private sector, and communities to increase access to sustainable safe water and sanitation services and to promote key hygiene behaviors to limit the spread of infectious disease. Further, our work to increase access to WASH in health care facilities ensures safe and dignified care.
Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning: USAID uses monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning to better understand the contribution or impact of maternal and child survival efforts.
Where We Work
USAID’s programs focus on 25 priority countries that together account for more than two-thirds of maternal and child deaths worldwide.
In 2021 alone, USAID helped more than 91 million women and children access essential—often lifesaving—care.
Projects and Partnerships
MOMENTUM— Moving Integrated, Quality Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health and Family Planning and Reproductive Health Services to Scale—is a suite of projects that works in partnership with countries to scale up health interventions and improve the overall health and well-being of mothers, children, families, and communities.
Breakthrough ACTION ignites collective action and encourages people to adopt healthier behaviors—from using modern contraceptive methods and sleeping under bed nets to improved complementary feeding—by forging, testing, and scaling up new and hybrid approaches to social and behavior change.
USAID Advancing Nutrition
USAID Advancing Nutrition works to improve the nutrition and health status of vulnerable populations. With a focus on building local capacity, supporting behavior change, and strengthening environments, this project aims to save lives, improve health, build resilience, increase economic productivity, and advance development.
Global Health Supply Chain – Procurement and Supply Management
GHSC-PSM enhances the health care experience in the communities we serve through transformative supply chain solutions by working closely with country partners and suppliers worldwide to promote wellbeing and help countries develop sustainable supply chain systems.
Poor quality care, particularly before, during, and after childbirth, is a major driver of maternal deaths. In India, USAID partnered with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to develop and implement a model for labor and delivery rooms using standard operating protocols and tools such as checklists and audit forms, combined with regular quality improvement committee meetings, to identify and resolve issues that measurably improve the quality of care around birth.
Safe Childbirth Close to Home
As Djiba Balde neared the end of her pregnancy, she grew worried. Her journey to the closest hospital, located 15 kilometers away in the city center of Kolda, was far away and her husband was often working out of town, leaving her to care for her other children alone. So when a community health post was constructed in her village of Sarre Bilaly, Dijba was so grateful to have a health facility close by.
From Outpost to Health Post
Meet Rebecca, a nurse-midwife in Sierra Leone who used her own funds to establish the only health post in her community. What was a temporary structure, is now a more permanent fixture in the community serving thousands of patients each year thanks to USAID support. Learn more about the local leaders that are prioritizing maternal and child survival and how USAID is supporting enhanced infection prevention and WASH practices.
Fighting Malnutrition in Ghana
In Ghana, progress to reduce malnutrition has improved, but almost 7 percent of children under 5 are still affected by wasting — the deadliest form of malnutrition. The Government of Ghana is committed to addressing nutrition challenges across the country. USAID partners with the Ghana Health Service and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to improve facility-based and community nutrition services, with a focus on northern Ghana.
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