HealthBridge (www.healthbridge.ca) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that works with partners world-wide to improve health and health equity through research, policy and action. HealthBridge aims to improve the health of vulnerable populations, by identifying, understanding, and bridging gaps in health, and has programmes addressing gender and reproductive health, food and nutrition, non-communicable disease prevention, and livable cities. HealthBridge helps local partners develop and implement appropriate solutions, apply innovative and sustainable practices, and promote effective policies.
Featured Project: Pakur Mother and Child Survival Project
In December 2011, HealthBridge launched the “Pakur Mother and Child Survival Project” which aims to improve maternal and child health by increasing access to quality health services in Pakur. Pakur is a rural district located in Jharkhand State, India, with a population of around 899, 200. This 3-year project is funded in part by the Canadian International Development Agency and will benefit approximately 140 000 women (ages 15-49) and nearly 42 099 children under age two.
Why this project is needed:
India has the greatest number of maternal and child deaths of any country in the world. The rate of women who die giving birth is 50 times higher in India than in Canada, and the rate of under-5 child deaths is 10 times higher. Almost all maternal and newborn deaths are preventable through skilled delivery care, and many child deaths are preventable through proper sanitation and adequate treatment for infectious diseases. However, in many parts of India, people do not have access to these basic health needs. In Pakur, access to health care is especially poor due to a weak network of health facilities, poor infrastructure, and low knowledge of the local population.
What this project will do:
The project will bridge gaps in the current health infrastructure by addressing weaknesses at both the supply and demand sides of the healthcare system. From the supply side, we are working in synergy with the government to sustainably improve the planning and delivery of services offered under the national health program. At the demand side, we are raising awareness amongst the local population to promote care-seeking behaviour and proper nutrition and hygiene practices. Recognizing that women often do not have the freedom to seek health care, the project is also engaging men and encouraging shared decision making at the household level.
What this project will achieve:
This project will ultimately improve maternal and child health in Pakur district through the following direct results:
- More women will receive safe antenatal, postnatal and delivery care;
- More infants and children will receive vaccinations, vitamin A supplementation, and treatment for malaria, diarrhoea and pneumonia;
- More women will breastfeed and use proper infant and child nutrition and feeding practices.
For more information, contact:
Lisa MacDonald, Project Manager
HealthBridge Foundation of Canada
1 Nicholas Street, Suite 1004
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1N JB7
T: 613-241-3927 ext. 305