Project ASMAN to Reduce Maternal and New-born Mortality in India by Reliance Foundation and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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“Our commitment to sustainable development goes beyond our operating boundaries, as we continuously aim to add value to our stakeholders by advancing knowledge and improving lives.”

Project ASMAN is a healthcare initiative for reducing infant, neonatal and maternal mortality in the country of India, partnered by a consortium of major private and development sector agencies. The alliances include Reliance Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Tata Trusts, MSD India and the United States Agency for International Development. The project is intending to facilitate the assurance of quality healthcare under the five pillars, namely Reproductive, Maternal, New-born, Child Health and Adolescent Health Program by the Government of India.

The ASMAN intervention provides technology-based solutions to healthcare providers, backed by on-site mentoring and supportive supervision visits during critical phases of intrapartum and postpartum care. It covers 81 multi-level health facilities, the programme has trained 80 Medical Officers and 338 staff nurses on obstetric and new-born care. During the project cycle, the programme has benefited millions of mothers and new-borns.

India is the second most populated country in the world and amounted over 30 million pregnancies every year, of this, 27 million women reach the stage of delivery. The realisation of the first two days is equally critical for the child, as half of neonatal deaths happen in the first 48 hours. Also notable that over 56,000 mothers die during or within 48 hours of delivery. The infant mortality rate in India is 33 per 1,000 live births (2019). The states which are badly affected by concerns of Maternal Mortality Rate, Neonatal Mortality Rate and Infant Mortality Rate are Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh as per the statistics. ASMAN was intending to make a unique model for bringing private players together to create significant development in providing healthcare for all, and to help India contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.

In the background, the Reliance decided to partner with ASMAN because we firmly believe the combined efforts of our alliance will help significantly advance our collective commitment of expanding access to maternal and child health in India and help ensure that women and children not only survive but thrive. Through this alliance, the foundation will continue its commitment to partnering the government in achieving its ambitious goals to improve women and child health and prioritise equitable growth.

One of the partner USAID decided to act with ASMAN because it brings together the right partners from across sectors whose core competencies and technical expertise can build synergies with existing programs to achieve the goal of zero mother and child deaths by 2035. Through ĀSMĀN, USAID will continue to foster the power of science, technology, innovation, and partnerships to create solutions to reduce child and maternal deaths more quickly and cost-effectively.”

 Currently, the foundation is deeply committed to improving maternal and child health in India. The health of mothers and children deserves particular attention, given India’s share of the overall amount of maternal and child mortality. It has made them focus on working in India as per the words of the foundation. Kenneth Frazier, MSD believe that they wanted to focus on the health of mothers and children, even one preventable death is unacceptable as they believe in. With MSD for Mothers initiative, they are regularly working to help them and create a world where no woman dies giving life. By sharing MSD’s scientific and business expertise in this project partnership, it is hopeful for the combined strengths and contributions of all involved will help create a sustainable model for high impact solutions in India.

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