IntraHealth Leads New Project in Northern India

To improve the health of mothers and newborns in Northern India, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded a four-year grant to IntraHealth International to establish and expand essential proven maternal and neonatal health (MNH) interventions.  The northern state of Uttar Pradesh has the highest percentage of maternal deaths (29%) and neonatal deaths (25%) in India. Through the Planning for Improving Maternal and Neonatal Health in Northern India Project, the Government of India will be able to make informed choices on effective interventions and expand essential health care services to more mothers and newborns.

Existing government programs such as Janani Suraksha Yojana, a National Rural Health Mission program that aims to promote increased coverage of quality antenatal care and institutional deliveries with a skilled birth attendant, have the potential to reach MNH intervention goals. However, more experience and evidence is needed on how government plans and programs can be put into operation effectively. This new project will support the Government of India in the annual state and district planning process, including incorporation of a review of the current MNH situation and the key barriers to improved MNH and then prioritizing efforts based on this evidence. The project will share the strategies shown to expand coverage of essential MNH interventions with its governmental and private partners, support testing of these strategies in Uttar Pradesh, and assist in the documentation of the process and lessons learned. As effective MNH interventions and strategies are documented, the project will advocate at district, state, and national levels to promote their adoption and scale-up.  The project will also support the work of the White Ribbon Alliance and other health care networks to increase their capacity to strengthen MNH in Uttar Pradesh.

IntraHealth is also leading the Vistaar Maternal, Neonatal, and Child Nutrition Project in northern India.