The American College of Nurse-Midwives announced plans to work with the United States Agency for International Development and five other leading maternal and child health organizations in a global development alliance announced June 14 by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
As part of the initiative — Survive and Thrive: Professional Associations, Private Sector and Global Health Scholars Saving Mothers, Newborns and Children — the ACNM Department of Global Outreach aims to improve survival rates for women and children in medically underserved countries around the world.
The new alliance will mobilize U.S. midwifery, obstetric and pediatric associations with USAID, the private sector and civil society organizations in an innovative partnership to reduce preventable maternal and child deaths in developing countries by improving the quality of facility-based maternal, newborn and child health services.
Survive and Thrive draws upon the resources and expertise of some of the most respected U.S. and global organizations in maternal and child health, according to a news release. The alliance aims to provide critical, essential healthcare interventions during the times when mothers and their children are most vulnerable — from pregnancy through childbirth, and childhood through age 5.
Planned strategies include expanding clinical competencies among health professionals who care for women, newborns and children; scaling up quality improvement processes and approaches; bringing affordable technologies and innovative educational materials and products to health professionals and their patients; accelerating efforts to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of these programs so that they can be scaled accordingly; and creating learning opportunities for emerging global health leaders.
“High-quality midwifery care is a critical need throughout the world, and that need is often unmet in many developing countries, resulting in devastating consequences for mothers and babies,” Suzanne Stalls, CNM, director of the ACNMs Department of Global Outreach, said in the news release. “Were excited to collaborate with our global partners in improving education and sustainable healthcare models to serve women not just in the United States, but throughout the world.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Johnson & Johnson, Laerdal Global Health and Save the Children also have signed on to the partnership, initiated by USAID to increase the availability of high-quality, high-impact maternal, newborn and child health services in health facilities around the world. More organizations are expected — and encouraged — to participate.
“None of us wants to live in a world where a childs life comes down to luck of the draw,” Clinton said, according to a written statement. “Survive and Thrive will connect healthcare professionals with their counterparts in low- and middle-income countries so they can share insights and strengthen their skills in caring for mothers, newborns and young children.”