“Big Push” Global Health Model for Reducing Maternal Mortality Has Broad Healthcare Systems Benefits
Friday, June 13, 2014
Researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health evaluated the first year of the Saving Mothers, Giving Life program, a global public-private partnership founded by the U.S. and Norway, Merck for Mothers, Every Mother Counts, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
The program model focuses on improving women’s access to high-quality obstetric care during the 24 hours around delivery—the time period when over half of maternal and neonatal deaths occur – and aims to reduce maternal mortality rates at a dramatic pace by capitalizing on existing U.S. and international health assistance platforms – called a big push model. Study findings are published in the June issue of the journal, Health Affairs.
Launched in 2011, Saving Mothers, Giving Life began implementing activities in eight districts in Uganda and Zambia in 2012. The evaluation led by Margaret Kruk, MD, MPH,Mailman School associate professor of Health Policy and Management and Sandro Galea, MD, DrPH, chair and professor of Epidemiology, included examining data for the program launch, its early achievements, and its effects on the health system, governance, and sustainability in the two countries. The most prominent intervention using a big push approach is the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), whose goal is to treat six million people living with HIV/AIDS with antiretroviral medication over ten years.
“Our evaluation of the first phase of Saving Mothers, Giving Life in Uganda and Zambia found that the big push model—which features high visibility, large expenditure, and demand for rapid results—succeeded in delivering a large volume of interventions in target districts,” said Dr. Kruk, who is also director of the Mailman School’s Better Health Systems Initiative.
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