Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health

CHS - About1

Class instructor and Student. Photo by Brian Donnelly

A woman and her baby.CHS and its affiliate, University Research Co., LLC (URC), partner with policy-makers and national counterparts in several countries in Africa and Latin America to ensure a sustainable, wide-scale application of evidence-based approaches to maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH). Supporting the integrated management of child illness at the health facility and community levels, we work in resource-limited regions to improve the quality of services and increase the participation of private sector and nongovernmental organizations in MNCH care.

CHS applies the science of improvement by changing systems and processes of care to enable reliable implementation of evidence-based approaches, thereby improving health outcomes. We address programs across the continuum of MNCH care, including antenatal care, childbirth and postpartum care, neonatal care, and child health.

Antenatal Care (ANC)

CHS implements programs to increase the proportion of pregnant women who benefit from ANC services as well as improve the quality of each ANC visit so that every pregnant woman fully benefits from the wide range of preventive, counseling, and testing services offered. We believe that successful ANC visits open the gate for increasing deliveries at health facilities and providing other services, such as HIV counseling and testing and child survival services.

Childbirth and Postpartum Care

CHS is improving childbirth services in several resource-constrained settings by ensuring the proper and routine use of the partograph, a tool that monitors the progress of labor; improving the quality of essential and emergency obstetric care; and preventing postpartum hemorrhage through the routine and effective application of active management of the third stage of labor (AMTSL). We also play a leading role in testing innovative approaches to integrate family planning counseling and services into postpartum care.

Neonatal Care

CHS supports national capacities to scale up the application of essential newborn care and the reduction of newborn sepsis. CHS is also helping decrease neonatal mortality by focusing on high-risk babies, such as those born preterm and/or with low birth weight. Together with URC, we have introduced and expanded the application of Kangaroo Mother Care, a method of care for preterm infants, in several countries, including Guatemala, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In August 2013, the Ecuadorian Ministry of Health adopted CHS’s essential obstetric and neonatal care model as part of a national initiative to reduce maternal and newborn mortality.

Child Health

CHS advocates increased support for child survival services and expansion of preventive and curative child health services, such as vaccination and community case management of child illness. We apply quality improvement approaches to enhance the prompt and effective management of the three leading causes of child deaths in developing countries: malaria, diarrhea, and pneumonia.

In Benin, we are working to strengthen and accelerate the delivery of proven, low-cost child health interventions by developing, testing, and implementing innovative strategies to strengthen the health system workforce and community health systems. In Niger, CHS built on earlier URC work to create and implement a pediatric malnutrition recuperation program that rapidly expanded services for acutely malnourished children in 15 district hospitals. CHS is now conducting a quantitative and qualitative study on the expansion of maternal and newborn care improvements to Nigerien maternal facilities.