One Mission – Three Countries: Project C.U.R.E. Partners with Saving Mothers, Giving Life to Reduce Maternal & Neonatal Mortality
In 2012, the Saving Mothers, Giving Life (SMGL) program launched with one mission—to dramatically reduce maternal and newborn mortality in Zambia, Uganda and Nigeria within five years. The program employed a health systems strengthening approach via the support and leadership of national governments, non-governmental organizations, private companies and academic institutions to ensure that pregnant women had access to clean, safe childbirth services and timely emergency care.
Working in collaboration, the SMGL program partners increased the number of women giving birth in hospitals, mobilized thousands of community health workers, trained hundreds of providers and upgraded infrastructure in nearly 100 facilities.
As an SMGL leadership partner Project C.U.R.E. provided 57 cargo containers of donated medical equipment and supplies valued at more than $14.3M and delivered to over 100 healthcare facilities in Uganda, Zambia and Nigeria. Key donations provided by Project C.U.R.E. included fetal monitors, hospital beds, exam tables, patient monitors, OR tables, diagnostic instrument sets, autoclaves, infant warmers and infant incubators, as well as basic supplies such as sterile gloves, dressings, sutures gowns, drapes and feminine supplies.
“The significant results of the SMGL program demonstrate the power of integrated partnerships and collaboration,” said Doug Jackson, Project C.U.R.E.’s President and CEO. “Working closely with our partners, we upgraded facilities to provide essential maternal health services and save lives.”
As reported by the recipient facilities, Project C.U.R.E. donations increased capacity via the expansion of procedures in labor and delivery, OB/GYN, emergency and laboratory departments. In addition, new screening procedures for women’s health, antenatal, high blood pressure, sexually transmitted diseases and diabetes were introduced. Quality of care improved in the prevention of neonatal infections, the diagnosis of prematurity, diarrheal diseases, low birth weight and the treatment of premature deliveries, lower respiratory infections and HIV/AIDS.
“…Without these inputs, facilities are challenged to respond and treat life-threatening complications resulting in preventable deaths. Project C.U.R.E. has also built the local capacity to maintain and service the donated equipment so that these ‘gifts’ become part of the health-system infrastructure. SMGL has been enriched by C.U.R.E.’s involvement…,” said Claudia Morrissey Conlon MD MPH the U.S. Government Lead, Saving Mothers, Giving Life.
As an integrated and collaborative program SMGL successes have been meaningful. Maternal mortality rates have declined by 44 percent in Uganda, 41 percent Zambia and in just two short years, 28 percent in Nigeria. Pre-discharge neonatal mortality rates declined by 10 percent in Uganda, 41 percent in Zambia and Nigeria has experienced a 31 percent reduction in stillbirths.
The success of the program is attributed to the comprehensive systems strengthening approach to overcome the obstacles to safe pregnancy and delivery. Project C.U.R.E. is honored and proud to have played a critical role in the life-changing success of the SMGL program.