Fighting against maternal and neonatal mortality

To Ensure Risk-free Motherhood in Burma

Location of Project

  1. peri-urban area: Dala township, Yangon suburb
  2. a rural area: Kawkareik district, Karen State
Première Urgence – Aide Médicale Internationale
Project Partners
(financial and operational)
    Financial Partners:

  • French Development Agency (AFD - confirmed)
  • Service Development Cooperation (SCD Switzerland – in process)
  • EuropeAid (requested for Year 2)

    Operational partner:

  • Télécom Sans Frontières (TSF – in process)
  • Myanmar Ministry of Health
  • Burmese Nurses and Midwives Association
  • Health and Welfare Department of the Karen National Union (KNU)

Program description

Issues / local context

Despite recent political developments, Burma remains one of the poorest countries in the world. According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Burma ranks only 149th on the Human Development Index. Health indicators are extremely low and budgets allocated to health attain only 0.2% of GDP. This situation strongly impacts women's health.

Key figures

    Dala Township population: 150,000

  • Maternal mortality 177/100,000
  • Mortality of children under 5: 37/1,000
  • Six doctors and 21 midwives operate in the township
    Kawkareik District in Karen State population: 480,000

  • Maternal mortality rate: 721/100,000
  • Mortality of children under 5:138/1,000
  • One doctor for 19,551 inhabitants and one midwife for 7,230

Project goals

For this project supported by the Sanofi Espoir Foundation, PUI teams intend to help reduce maternal and neonatal mortality by boosting the skills of midwives via an integrated approach based on community reproductive health workers (auxiliary midwives).

The overall aim of the project is to improve the skills of midwives by means of continuing education and to create a network of auxiliary midwives who will be trained and mentored by experienced midwives to facilitate information sharing and referrals to emergency health centers.

    The specific objectives of the project are to:

  1. Improve maternal and child health services by boosting midwifery skills and supporting auxiliary midwives
  2. Upgrade the skills of auxiliary midwives in the areas of maternal and child health to effectively improve the quality of services to pregnant women and women in labor, and prepare for the arrival of future auxiliary midwives as reinforcements
  3. Promote access to quality reproductive health by developing a standard approach and running a pilot mobile health project