Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, & Child Health

Background

Women and children in the developing world are susceptible to a wide range of disease and antenatal issues due to poor access to quality healthcare, hygiene and sanitation.


MCDI has worked for over 30 years to improve these conditions for women and children. MCDI works to fight high-mortality complications of pregnancy, improve health conditions of children, and satisfy the unmet need for family planning services in developing communities.


Maternal and Newborn Health

MCDI aims to improve the health situations of women of maternal age, pregnant women and newborns. By increasing registration for antenatal care visits amongst pregnant women, preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV, encouraging breastfeeding of newborns, and building capacity amongst post-natal caregivers to increase child survival rates, MCDI has helped to increase health outcomes for mothers and their children.


In Myanmar, MCDI works to improve maternal and neonatal health through distributing long-lasting insecticide treated nets (LLINS) to mother through antenatal services to prevent malaria in pregnancy, as well as training health workers on basic emergency obstetrics and neonatal care.


Children's Health

Every minute, 12 children under the age of five die throughout the world. MCDI strives to end preventable child deaths through a broad array of interventions, but has specifically focused on child survival through malaria control, water and sanitation, integrated management of childhood illnesses (IMCI), managing immunization coverage, improving nutrition, and improving access to supplies and behavior change communication (BCC).


MCDI's programs integrate interventions in order to achieve the most widespread success in improving the lives of children under five. Under MCDI’s Bioko Island Malaria Control Program, for example, it has been shown that through intensive malaria control, under-five mortality on the island decreased substantially through key interventions, including distribution of Long Lasting Insecticide-Treated Nets (LLINs) and Indoor Residual Spraying – reaching over 95% of the island’s population – and through promoting access to malaria diagnostics and treatment. These interventions reduced the malaria infection prevalence in children under five by 57% in four years and reduced the overally childhood mortality rate by 64%.


Family Planning

Affording women the ability to plan if or when they have children greatly increases successful birth outcomes and the health of their families. MCDI has provided family planning counseling and supplies to women in rural communities with limited access to health facilities.


MCDI has integrated family planning services with water and sanitation interventions as well as with other maternal, newborn and child health projects. Mass media campaigns, mass contraceptive distribution and community mobilization have also allowed MCDI to improve access to quality family planning services and inform numerous communities about safe reproductive health practices.


Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is one of the most prevalent causes for cancer in women, with 84% of cases occurring in the developing world, and is a leading cause for cancer deaths in women. MCDI currently works in Myanmar and Equatorial Guinea to provide cervical cancer screening and treatment. In both countries, MCDI’s projects use the screen-and-treat approach involving visual inspection for pre-cancerous lesions using acetic acid and treatment using cold coagulation. This approach is effective, has limited side-effects and is inexpensive to implement at scale.


Zika in El Salvador and Guatemala

Zika, a disease spread mostly through mosquito bites, can be passed from a pregnant women to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects. Zika can also be spread through sexual intercourse. MCDI strengthens the capacity of communities to respond to the Zika epidemic through community-based vector control and Aedes surveillance, and uses BCC to communicate the risks of Zika and promote healthy behaviors.


Performance-based Financing

MCDI's performance-based financing project in Lesotho and a new project in the Central African Republic seek to improve the quality of care in health facilities providing maternal, newborn and children’s health services by monitoring and evaluating the performance of health facilities and determining the pay of health providers based on the quantity and quality of care provided.