Born Healthy - Addressing maternal infections to improve newborn outcomes

The Born Healthy project is a collaboration between GAPPS, the World Health Organization, and Jhpiego, funded by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF). Born Healthy will test a model of improved antenatal care which will include testing and treatment of infections and the provision of supplements like iron folic acid and calcium. To improve diagnosis of maternal infections, technology in the form of point-of-care tests will be brought in to make testing and treatment efficient, cost-effective and readily available. This proof of concept will be tested in Rajasthan, India and will integrate with current and planned investments in the region, such as the Safe Childbirth Checklist. The Born Healthy project will influence the global approach to antenatal nutrition and infection management, and the learning from this process will further develop practices and policies in India.

Of the numerous risk factors for poor birth and delivery outcomes, antenatal infection, maternal nutrition, and the interplay between them have been most consistently identified. Early identification, treatment, and management of maternal infections during the antenatal period are vital not only for the mother, but also for the health of the newborn.

Current standards of antenatal care will be improved to prevent a woman carrying a serious infection from proceeding through pregnancy to delivery without being either diagnosed or treated. These infections lead to suffering, death, and lost potential. With better management of antenatal care and the introduction of affordable new technologies, maternal infections can be controlled. This investment will demonstrate the feasibility of a new model of infection control in pregnancy and create energy for its widespread adoption.

As part of the Born Healthy project, GAPPS will conduct an analysis of the burden of pathogens, point of care test products, and essential health system factors related to the diagnosis and treatment of maternal infections during pregnancy in India. This work will inform development and refinement of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) partnership with the Government of India to address maternal infections in pregnancy to improve newborn outcomes.

Mom and baby