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USAID on Maternal and Child Health


Skilled birth attendants provide essential services for pregnant women and mothers, including antenatal care, labor and delivery services, and postnatal care. (USAID Afghanistan)

Since 2012, USAID has trained 13.1 million health workers across the world in how to provide critical healthcare to mothers and children, including the importance of proper nutrition.

The 2017 USAID Acting on Call Report estimates that by working with partners U.S. aid can save the lives of 5.6 million children and 260,000 women worldwide through the year 2020 by focusing on improving health systems that will deliver essential, quality health services to the most vulnerable and underserved populations.

Since 2012, USAID has trained 13.1 million health workers across the world in how to provide critical healthcare to mothers and children, including the importance of proper nutrition. It has provided 69.5 million treatments to children for diarrhea and pneumonia. It has vaccinated 25.3 million children against deadly preventable diseases and has treated 5.6 billion liters of water for consumption. USAID has helped 5.9 million women give birth in a health facility and has helped 6.4 million newborns receive care after delivery. USAID reaches more than 12 million children with nutrition services annually.

In addition to providing services, USAID believes in "leverag[ing] every dollar, grow[ing] local partners, and pass[ing] the baton to partner governments," in order to amplify the impact of U.S. work, said USAID Administrator Mark Green in a Tweet on August 11.

Afghanistan provides a useful window into what USAID is doing on the ground. USAID has been working with local Afghan communities to educate those on the frontlines of caring for mothers and children. Since 2002, aid from the United States has provided funds to train over 2000 midwives in Afghanistan who work to save the lives of women and newborn babies. "My education as a midwife has changed my life dramatically," said Friba Hashimi, one of the first women trained by USAID to provide labor and delivery services in Afghanistan. "It enabled me to support women in my country and save their lives—and the lives of their babies."

While much progress has been made in Afghanistan, maternal and child mortality rates remain unacceptably high and much remains to be done. The United States is proud to have provided healthcare and health education to so many millions of people in need and to have saved so many lives. The United States is determined to build upon these improvements and continue supporting domestic and global health programs.

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