Maternal & Newborn Health

Sarhar Yamar survived postpartum hemorrhage, and now holds her daughter, thanks to good medical care. According to her nurse, “Without the training, I would not have been able to save Sarhar. In my village I can say, I saved the patient’s life. I am very proud.”

Pathfinder strengthens the skills of providers, like this Community Health Extension Worker at the Charanchi Comprehensive Health Center in Nigeria, so they can deliver quality prenatal care, skilled delivery, and postpartum care.

In India, an expectant mother named Munaina Devi meets with a Pathfinder-trained community health worker. Together, they discuss prenatal care and make a birth plan—deciding who will transport Munaina to a facility, who will donate blood if she needs it, etc.

In Yemen, a woman learns about healthy timing and spacing of pregnancy. Pathfinder promotes practices, such as family planning and delaying early marriage, that can protect and the health of mothers and newborns.

Pathfinder collaborates with communities to overcome delays in an emergency. For example, thanks to new transportation systems, women with obstetric complications can be sure to reach a facility in time to save their lives.

One woman dies every 90 seconds during pregnancy or childbirth. More than 10 million women a year suffer severe, long-lasting illnesses or disabilities caused by complications of pregnancy or childbirth. And with the health and wellbeing of mother and child heavily intertwined, obstetric complications account for the majority of neonatal mortality.

Throughout our history, Pathfinder has supported integrated and comprehensive services for maternal and newborn care. Our community interventions to improve healthy practices such as delaying early marriage and, promoting healthy timing and spacing of pregnancy, expanding access to contraception and family planning, and increasing the availability of prenatal care, skilled delivery, and postpartum care, are widely respected. Pathfinder’s contributions to postabortion care—both at the service delivery and community level—are globally recognized.

In recent years, Pathfinder has escalated its maternal and newborn care work, initiating programs that include training midwives and skilled birth attendants to help ensure safe pregnancies and deliveries; promoting life-saving, emergency obstetric care to address complications such as postpartum hemorrhage; and supporting engaged communities to ensure that they are aware of danger signs and can transport women to facilities where emergency care is available.

The goal of Pathfinder’s maternal and newborn work is developing a replicable continuum of care model so that mothers and their newborns have access to help and information at every point during pregnancy and childbirth—from the household to the hospital—and then safely home. Currently, Pathfinder has a range of projects dedicated to improving maternal and newborn health around the world.

Related Projects

A Healthy Malaria-Free Life

The project initiative was to improve maternal health outcomes in the communities neighboring two new maternity health centers built by Pathfinder in two municipalities

Access to Primary Healthcare Project

Access to Primary Healthcare Project

Pathfinder works to improve primary healthcare in the Democratic Republic of Congo by supporting reproductive, maternal, and neonatal health services.

Burundi Maternal Child Health Project

From 2007 - 2014, Pathfinder worked with the government of Burundi to improve maternal and child health in two provinces: Muyinga and Kayanza.


Related Publications

August 2014

Strengthening the Continuum of Care for Fistula Prevention and Repair in Ethiopia

This technical brief explores Pathfinder's Integrated Family Health Program's approach, implementation experience, and lessons learned when addressing obstetric fistula in four program regions of Ethiopia.

August 2014

Research and Evaluation Working Paper Series

The purpose of the Working Paper Series is to disseminate work in progress by Pathfinder International staff on critical issues of population, reproductive health, and development.

August 2014

Assessment of the Quality of Antenatal Care Services Provided by Health Workers using a Mobile Phone Decision Support Application in Northern Nigeria

A pre/post intervention study assessing the effect of introducing a mobile case management and decision support application for antenatal care on the quality of antenatal care services provided in 10 primary health centers in Abuja and Nasawara, northern Nigeria.

July 2014

mHMtaani: Mobile Health for Our Communities in Kenya

Under the USAID-funded APHIAplus Nairobi-Coast project, Pathfinder launched mHMtaani or “Mobile health for our communities” to promote healthier communities by using mobile technology to monitor and track the health of pregnant mothers.


Related News

Call for Expression of Interest in Reproductive, Maternal, and Neonatal Health Innovation Fund Grants

Ethiopia's Federal Ministry of Health has initiated the Reproductive, Maternal, and Neonatal Health Innovation Fund (RIF). The Fund will finance innovative projects that address demand-side barriers in reproductive, maternal, and neonatal health. Deadline for submission of Expression of Interest to the Federal Ministry of Healthwill be September 15, 2014.

Saving pregnant mother: red flag approach

Pathfinder's Surjer Hashi Clinic (Smiling Sun) has unified Bangladesh's Teknaf community towards one goal: save pregnant mother. Among the many innovations introduced by clinic, one has been the demarcation of houses occupied by pregnant mothers with red flags - enabling neighbors to come together and help that particular family when required.

"As Mariam Bibi, near 30 with two children said in her own words, 'When I was pregnant the second time, my husband, a small trader was unable to take proper care for me. Moreover, our house is so far from upazila health complex, regular check-ups were not possible. In the mean time Surjer Hashi Clinic came forward to help me prevent health problems associated with pregnancy. They hung a red flag atop my house so that everybody could see and understand the need to help pregnant mothers like me.'"

Delivering quality maternal health services in rural India, the role of the private sector

World Health Partners and Pathfinder International are partnering, using a social franchising approach, to leverage rural human resources in order to extend maternal health coverage.

Dr. Mengistu Asnake Elected President of the World Federation of Public Health Associations

Mengistu Asnake
On May 18, 2014, Dr. Mengistu Asnake, Pathfinder International’s Country Representative in Ethiopia and Chief of Party for the Integrated Family Health Program, was elected President of the World Federation of Public Health Associations.
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