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Scaling up: Ecuadorian Ministry of Health mobilizes resources to improve maternal and newborn care
Date:11/18/2013

The Ecuadorian Ministry of Health (MOH) is scaling up an innovative essential obstetric and newborn care (EONC) model piloted by the USAID-funded EONC Networks Project in Cotopaxi province. The project, which is managed by the Center for Human Services (CHS), designed and implemented the model in close alliance with the MOH, USAID, and national and provincial NGOs, providers, and users.

The model used improvement approaches to implement evidence-based maternal and newborn health (MNH) interventions, which yielded significant improvements in MNH services. As a result, the Ministry issued a national policy making the application of the EONC networks approach mandatory throughout the country's entire health care system. The Ministry also assigned a special budget to the scale-up to ensure sustainability. CHS is supporting scale-up planning and training efforts, as well as the development of the guidelines and tools needed to make the scale-up successful.

"Scale-up and sustainability are key outcomes that drive our work," said CHS President Barbara N. Turner, "The Ministry's nationwide expansion of the EONC networks model serves as a strong example of a proven quality improvement approach transitioning from a demonstration in the field to policy implementation and resource mobilization at the national level."

The scale-up is part of Ecuador's maternal and newborn mortality reduction efforts and contributes to the global "Commitment to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed" initiative to reduce deaths among children under 5 years old by 2035. The global health community has reduced child mortality by 70 percent over the past 50 years, yet more than 6 million children still die each year before reaching their 5th birthday. Most of these deaths are from preventable causes. A Promise Renewed partners, such as USAID, are working to end preventable child deaths using innovative approaches like the EONC networks model.

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Contact: Dr. Jorge Hermida
jhermida@urc-chs.com
593-224-28697
University Research Co., LLC
Source:Eurekalert

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