The Maternal-Child Health program has three primary goals: to reduce maternal and under-5 mortality among the most disadvantaged people, improve health system responsiveness to these groups, and catalyze positive change in the health system.
Access to care is a key area of focus for the program. Expanding the availability and utilization of high-quality healthcare for children and pregnant women in the catchment area will have significant impact on health outcomes for the population served.
Building local capacity to treat the most common conditions affecting children and pregnant women requires training both local indigenous communities and health systems to meet and sustain their own healthcare needs.
Identifying the highest prevalence diseases and highest risk groups and individuals in the region can prevent conditions become serious or irreversible
Prevention, identification and early intervention can preclude an illness or lessen the burden on the individual and society.
SAIL is a five-year project aimed at improving the lives of mothers and children who live north of Riohacha on the Guajira peninsula of Colombia.
The Wayúu are the largest indigenous group in Columbia. They live in remote areas far from health and other services, largely in family groups called rancherías. It is a harsh environment, suffering from long-term drought and few natural resources. Severe malnutrition is common, as is illness caused by lack of access to health care.
In addition to providing physicians and a dietitian, SAIL trained a team of Wayúu women to World Health Organization standards to work in the communities. They identify life threatening illness in at-risk pregnant women and children, launch initial treatment locally, organize health fairs, and refer ill and at-risk patients to health facilities for more care. This highly successful program was recognized by the United Nations Development Programme and the Government of Colombia as a best social investment practice.
During 2015, the physicians directly saw more than 3,400 patients, reached 6,875 indigenous people with the program, and trained more than 300 health professionals.
Papua New Guinea
Texas Children’s and BIPAI, along with the government of Papua New Guinea and ExxonMobil undertook a comprehensive needs assessment in 2012-13 to identify gaps in maternal-child health and public health. This has been the basis of a multi-year public-private partnership with the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) and ExxonMobil to build pediatric and public health faculty capacity at UPNG and ensure sustainable growth and capacity in the attached teaching hospital.
The program began with one pediatrics physician and one public health specialist seconded to UPNG by BIPAI and Texas Children’s to increase and improve the baseline faculty. A robust monitoring and evaluation framework was developed to capture pertinent data in teaching, training and improved care outcomes.
Through long term faculty attachments to UPNG, the ability to increase the number of residents that may be retained as the next generation of faculty can ensure sustainable growth and capacity at UPNG and teaching hospitals throughout PNG.
Following a brutal civil war, in 2003-2011, the infant mortality rate in Liberia decreased from 194 to 78 deaths per 1,000 live births. In a similar timeframe, the maternal mortality ratio has decreased from 1,100 to 770 per 100,000 live births, but is still among the highest in the world. Contributing factors to this high maternal mortality ratio include a shortage of skilled healthcare workers, and inadequate referral systems; less than 50% of births are attended by a health professional. One of the greatest challenges identified for Liberia is the human resource crisis in the health sector.
Texas Children’s, BIPAI and Chevron partnered with the Liberian Ministry of Health to support implementation of a post-graduate training program in Pediatrics and Obstetrics and Gynecology with a goal of assisting in the provision of training and education of clinical providers. This effort will decrease the “brain-drain” of Liberian physicians and improve the health of Liberians and capacity building of the healthcare system.