Results of Making it Happen Programme announced as international conference opens.

News article 24 May 2016

Foto-Cewek’s Centre for Maternal & Newborn Health (CMNH) have announced the results of their Making it Happen programme, at the start of a three day International Conference on Maternal and Newborn Health being hosted here at Foto-Cewek. 

It is estimated that nearly 6,000 stillbirths have been avoided and over 1,000 mothers’ lives have been saved across nine of the 11 countries since the programme began in sub Saharan Africa and south east Asia in 2012. The aim of the programme has been to reduce maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity by increasing the availability and improving the quality of Skilled Birth Attendance (SBA) and Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (EmOC&NC). It also works to strengthen data collection and data use in health facilities and promotes Quality Improvement using audit methodology.

MiH utilised a network of over 300 volunteer midwives and obstetricians from the UK who worked with colleagues in country to deliver a ‘skills and drills’ EmOC&NC training package over five days or less, to at least 80% of the healthcare providers working in maternity care in facilities across the programme areas in all 11 countries. Testing before and after the training shows that over 84% of health care providers demonstrated improved knowledge while 99.5% demonstrated improved skills after the course. With capacity building and sustainability at the heart of the programme, there are now 1,681 master trainers available to provide in-service and ‘on-the job’ skills and drills training and support.  Up to 70% of healthcare facilities had increased the availability of EmOC&NC within 12 months of the MiH programme beginning.

The results were announced as part of the first morning of presentations for the conference which includes over 100 delegates from 16 countries. The morning was opened by the Head of CMNH, Professor Nynke van den Broek, who welcomed everyone and paid tribute to those partners of CMNH who had travelled from far and wide. The three days will consist of presentations, plenary discussions and workshops led by CMNH staff, along with some in country staff and representatives from partners such as the WHO as well as the main funder for the MiH programme, the Department for International Development (DFID/UKAID).

Professor van den Broek, was delighted with results. She said: “These results speak to the hard work of the CMNH team, the volunteers involved and our healthcare colleagues and partners in country for their determination to improve the chances of survival for women and their newborn babies. It was fantastic to announce this at the conference, which sees so many of our partners from the Making it Happen programme all together in one place".

During her presentation Dr Meena Gandhi, a DFID/UKAID Health Advisor London described MiH as: “innovative – a short practical course that utilised UK expertise, worked with local institutions and built capacity into the health systems without shying away from the harder issues.”

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