Despite major gains driven by initiatives like USAID’s Acting on the Call and the UN’s Every Woman Every Child campaigns, “nine million children under-5 still die each year, almost one million of them on their first day of life.”1
Newborn and child health are intricately linked to issues- including maternal health, immunization, and water, sanitation and hygiene- where small improvements to access and quality can have huge impacts on community well-being.
TMG uses innovative research techniques [LINK TO TIPs page] to define and understand the most critical behaviors driving preventable deaths in newborns and children, and works with communities to identify changes to those behaviors that are both feasible and impactful.
Program strategies for improving newborn and child health have ranged from addressing cultural barriers to seeking emergency care during childbirth, to tackling challenges in early and sustained exclusive breastfeeding, to improving the quality of essential health services such as newborn resuscitation, anemia control, or immunization.
In East Timor, The Manoff Group launched the “My Village is My Home” tool, used by volunteers and health workers to record the births and vaccination dates of every infant in a community. The tool was initially developed for use in India, and was adapted for use in East Timor by TMG, along with a specialized training program.
Results from both East Timor and India indicate that ‘‘My Village Is My Home’’ has the potential to broaden program coverage by marshalling both community residents and health workers to track individual children’s vaccinations.
Both the number of infants identified and immunized rose substantially with use of the tool compared with the previous year (236 vs. 155, respectively, identified as targets; 185 vs. 147, respectively, received Penta 3).