Southern new partnership to promote the health of mothers and newborns in East and Southern Africa

Some 10,000 health workers will be trained to support mothers and newborns in Africa through a partnership between the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF and Laerdal Global Health, the non-profit arm of a Norwegian company providing innovative training, education and training. and provide therapy solutions for emergencies. medical care and patient safety.

The five-year program, which was announced on Tuesday, aims to improve maternal and neonatal health in some of the communities with the highest mortality rates in East and Southern Africa.

It will start in Ethiopia, Eritrea and Kenya and later expand to other countries in the region.

“Investing in women’s and children’s health is a smart investment,” said Mohamed M. Malick Fall, UNICEF’s regional director.

“Investing in the health of the poorest children and communities indeed saves twice as many lives as equivalent investments.”

‘Scary’ death rates

Although the world has seen very promising advances in maternal and neonatal health in recent decades, the death rate for mothers and newborns in East and Southern Africa remains alarming, according to UNICEF.

In 2017, about 70,000 women died there due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth, while in 2019, more than 440,000 newborns died in the first 28 days after birth.

“Our new partnership with Laerdal Global Health brings investment, research and innovation to improve the delivery of quality healthcare services,” he said. Fall said.

“In addition, the partnership will seek new solutions to prevent preventable deaths in mothers and newborns.”

Upscale to save lives

Together with governments, UNICEF and Laerdal Global Health will provide training to 10,000 health workers focusing on safe pregnancies and births by 2025.

The partners will implement the ‘Helping Mothers Survive and Helping Babies Survive’ training programs, designed to reduce maternal and neonatal deaths in low-resource settings.

The training is based on simulation methodology and will equip health professionals with the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to succeed, UNICEF said. They also have a “refurbishment component”, thus ensuring long-term and sustainable capacity building.

UNICEF will provide life-saving equipment for newborns and health worker training, while Laerdal Global Health will provide educational materials and simulators through the company’s ‘Buy One, Gift One’ scheme for customers in high-income countries.

Laerdal Medical launched a ‘Buy One, Gift One’ initiative in 2012, “where birth simulators sold in high-income countries support training programs in low-income institutions”, said Tore Laerdal, chairman of Laerdal, said.

“We look forward to working with UNICEF, where we will use a combination of on-site solutions and distance learning to help scale up more effective training modules that can save lives.”

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