Maternal and Neonatal Health

Complications of pregnancy are the leading cause of death and disability for women ages 15-49 in developing countries. The Manoff Group developed and applied a comprehensive behavior change approach to improve maternal and neonatal health. Our approach builds on interventions at the household, community and health facility levels and responds to lessons learned and global program experience from the first decade of the Safe Motherhood Initiative.

Indonesia: Early Initation of Breastfeeding Video
With support from the Health Services Program (HSP), a clinical training video on early initiation of breastfeeding was produced by Indonesia's National Clinical Training Network, Ministry of Health, and professional associations. Early initiation of breastfeeding is a key intervention that saves the lives of mothers and children and is simple, cost-effective, and evidence-based.

HSP worked at the district level to reduce mortality among mothers, newborns, and children and to improve basic health facilities. Click here to learn more.

Pakistan: Identifying Barriers to Seeking Emergency Care

A poorly used emergency ambulance system became active after a year-long education campaign. The campaign targeted expectant mothers, community health visitors, doctors, community leaders and elder family members who often discouraged compliance with hospital referral. The success of the campaign was due to formative qualitative research that identified specific difficulties in seeking care before project implementation.

Egypt: Healthy Mother/Healthy Child Project

Healthy Mother/Healthy Child (HM/HC) was a bilateral project with USAID/Egypt (1998-2004) managed by JSI with the goal of reducing maternal and infant mortality in Upper Egypt. The Manoff Group had prime responsibility for three components: community education and mobilization for maternal reproductive health, mass media education on maternal and child health, and education and selected health services (anemia control, TT immunization, and smoking prevention) in secondary schools.


The Manoff Group worked through HM/HC to implement two national mass media campaigns on birth preparedness and postpartum/newborn care, and to deliver anti-smoking messages to over 600,000 school students in Upper Egypt. The first mass media campaign received a top award from the Egyptian Advertising Council. We also developed innovative tools to assess client satisfaction, community outreach worker performance, the effect of the community outreach program on community learning and behavior change, as well as a unique and successful approach to providing motivation for preventive behaviors and smoking cessation among school children. In addition, over 1.9 million students per week received iron and folic acid tablets in schools. 


HM/HC also aimed to improve the health and nutrition of adolescents by strengthening the existing preventive health program. The Adolescent Anemia Prevention Program sought to reduce and prevent anemia in preparatory and secondary schools in five governorates of Egypt. This project was so successful that the Minister of Health has decided to expand it nationwide.

Results: During the HM/HC project, Maternal Mortality Rates decreased from 174 to 84 per 100,000, dramatically exceeding the original project goal to reduce MMR to 139 per 100,000 by 2001.

India: Encouraging Women's Participation

As part of a social marketing component for the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) focus group discussions were held with mothers, fathers and grandmothers and in-depth discussions were conducted with mothers and village service providers. These discussions covered weaning practices, radio listening habits and perceptions of local services. The resulting program introduced a growth chart poster to encourage each mother's participation and interest in the growth of her child and a special pregnant woman action card to encourage newly pregnant women to participate in prenatal activities during their last trimester.