Grand Challenges Canada, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) have joined together to support Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development. Together, we call for groundbreaking prevention and treatment approaches for pregnant women and newborns in poor, hard-to-reach communities around the time of childbirth.
More than 40% of maternal and newborn deaths and stillbirths occur on the day of birth. Although gains have been made in child survival, newborn mortality rates have proven persistent, now accounting for 44% of all under-five child deaths. Almost all of the annual 303,000 maternal deaths, 2.7 million newborn deaths and 2.6 million stillbirths occur in low- and middle-income countries, where access to quality care is the most limited. To reach the Sustainable Development Goals, a joint focus on maternal and newborn health is crucial.
Saving Lives at Birth seeks innovative solutions that are affordable, accessible, sustainable and of high quality across three focus areas: science and technology, service delivery and demand creation.
Since 2011, Saving Lives at Birth has supported exciting and potentially transformational solutions to tackle this grand challenge to dramatically improve women’s and newborns’ health. Activities undertaken reflect the participation of all of the contributing partners.
Progress Against The Challenge
The leadership of Saving Lives at Birth has contributed significantly to developing a pipeline of innovations for maternal and newborn health that did not exist prior in 2010. To date, the innovations supported through Saving Lives at Birth have contributed to more than 1.5 million pregnant women, newborns and mothers using innovations and over 8,000 maternal and newborn lives saved and stillbirths averted. These innovations are also attracting the investment of public and private-sector partners that are necessary for scale and sustainability.
For more information about Saving Lives at Birth, visit the partnership website at www.savinglivesatbirth.net.
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