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Preventing Maternal and Child Deaths

Preventing maternal and child deaths requires strong pharmaceutical systems that ensure continuous access to quality life-saving treatments that are safe, effective, and affordable. Although countries have made significant progress in reducing maternal and child mortality rates, a large proportion of deaths could be avoided if women and children had access to quality medicines and supplies and skilled health care providers. MTaPS supports USAID’s commitment to ending preventable maternal and child death by working to highlight the importance of maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) medical products and services, raising awareness of the barriers to their access, and providing technical assistance to reduce these barriers at both the global and country levels.

MTaPS has developed different resources to help countries strengthen pharmaceutical systems to improve access to and use of quality medical products to improve maternal and child health.
These resources include:

Streamlining registration of MNCH medical products
Procurement of MNCH medical products
  • A Guide to Best Practices in Subnational Procurement of MNCH Commodities in the Public Sector: In response to political reform or problems with centrally controlled health product supply, many low- and middle-income countries have decentralized the procurement of health commodities, including those for MNCH, to a province, district, or even facility level. This guide uses case studies and other examples to describe best practices to procure quality-assured, low-cost MNCH medicines and supplies in addition to three mechanisms to address subnational procurement challenges: central framework agreements, prime vendor programs, and e-procurement systems.
  • Forecasting Consumption of Select Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health Medical Products: This forecasting supplement—available in English and French—assists program managers, service providers, and technical experts when conducting quantification of needs for priority reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health medical products. It has been updated to include new products and recommendations from WHO and provides practical guidance on estimating the quantities of supplies needed by MNCH programs as part of national quantification exercises.
  • Quantification tool to estimate needs of non-malaria commodities for Integrated Community Case Management (iCCM): This quantification tool—which was developed using and building on the forecasting supplement above—helps countries estimate their needs in non-malaria commodities and the gap that Global Fund (GF) could potentially fund under Grant Cycle 7. The tool facilitates the completion of the GF non-malaria iCCM gap tables required as part of the funding request submitted to GF.
Engaging civil society
Improving access to and use of amoxicillin
  • Call to Action: Expanding Access to Medicines: This document outlines concrete actions that country stakeholders, donors, implementing partners, and civil society organizations can take to address four key bottlenecks to access to and appropriate use of amoxicillin and gentamicin for childhood pneumonia and newborn infections.
  • Toolkit for Administration of Amoxicillin for Childhood Pneumonia: This toolkit was developed to increase adherence to treatment with amoxicillin DT by caregivers of sick children as well as adherence of health care providers to proper treatment protocols. The toolkit consists of dispensing envelopes for different age groups to visually orient caregivers in administration of the tablets, depicting each step for preparation and administration of amoxicillin DT; leaflets for use with amoxicillin suspension in contexts where that is used instead of amoxicillin DT; and job aids for health care providers to help them explain proper treatment, administration, and adherence to amoxicillin, as well as other key messages to caregivers.
Pharmaceutical Systems Strengthening
  • Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health & Pharmaceutical Systems Strengthening Microlearning Course: This course consists of three videos to raise awareness and promote understanding of why strengthening the pharmaceutical system is important for MNCH. The first video summarizes what a pharmaceutical system is and how it relates to sustainable access and appropriate use of safe, effective, quality-assured medical products for MNCH. The second video describes what regulation of medical products is and why regulatory systems are critical for improving access to and appropriate use of safe, effective, and quality-assured medical products and improving MNCH outcomes. The third video highlights the importance of financing medical products and devices for women and children’s health and the role of different strategies in ensuring universal coverage of life-saving medical products for women, newborns, and children.
Quality of Medical Oxygen
  • Quality Assurance Practices for Medical Oxygen Systems: Technical Resource for Distribution- and Facility-Level Medical Oxygen Systems: Access to medical oxygen is necessary especially for newborns and children with respiratory distress, or hypoxemia resulting from pneumonia (among other conditions). Since the COVID-19 pandemic, notable investments have been made in oxygen supply systems, but there must also be assurance that medical oxygen remains of acceptable purity, without hazardous impurities, and is deemed safe for patient use. This USAID MTaPS technical resource document for ensuring the quality of medical oxygen, whether produced on-site or outsourced, aims to serve as a reference and includes tools for practical application in its annex.

For more information on how MTaPS supports countries to strengthen pharmaceutical systems for improved MNCH health outcomes, download the MTaPS MNCH factsheet.

For more information, contact:
Senior Principal Technical Advisor
Jane Briggs
[email protected]