Fighting against maternal and neonatal mortality

Boosting midwives’ skills in Algeria

The goal is to build, collectively and before birth, optimal care for mothers and children

Dr. Paul Benòs, obstetrician-gynecologist, speaker and president of Santé Sud

Location of Project Algeria (Algiers and Oran)
Name of Association
Santé Sud
Project Partners
(financial and operational)
  • Algerian Ministry of Health
  • Algerian Federation of the Disabled (FAPH)
  • The Benni Messous University Hospital (CHU) in Algiers
  • The Kouba CHU in Algiers
  • The Durando Clinic, attached to the University Hospital of Bab El Oued in Algiers
  • The University Hospital (EHU) of Oran
  • The Sanofi Espoir Foundation

Program description

For the last seven years, Santé Sud and the Algerian Federation of the Disabled have developed with Sanofi Espoir Foundation’s support a training/awareness program for perinatal professionals in different hospital sites in the regions of Algiers and Blida. The aim was to develop the multidisciplinary management of pregnancy and childbirth so as to better manage high-risk pregnancies, childbirth with complications, and new-borns with debilitating diseases.

More than 900 professionals (midwives, nurses, gynecologists/obstetricians, neonatal specialists, pediatricians, and psychologists) have benefited from these courses and new interdisciplinary practices in perinatal care have gradually developed in the recipient departments.

Although significant progress has been made over the past decade in Algeria, there is still concern about mothers and children in neonatal situations. The country has 946,000 pregnancies a year and almost 600 women die each year during childbirth. In 2014, the maternal mortality rate stood at 60.3 per 100,000 live births (National Plan for the Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality 2015-2019, Ministry of Health). The slow decline in incidence over the last ten years shows that Algeria will not reach the 2015 goal it set in the context of the Millennium Development Goals of 50 deaths per 100,000 live births. Neonatal mortality stands at 12 per 1,000 live births (UNICEF 2014) and represents 60% of deaths of children under five. More than 11,000 children die before their first month of life.

This project aims to sustain and institutionalize these gains by strengthening the teaching of this interdisciplinary approach in the initial and continuing training of midwives, who are key players in the perinatal period and in physiological childbirth: they are wholly responsible for managing this process which should be optimized by using a specialist in high-risk or complicated pregnancies and discussed and decided on in a multidisciplinary setting. The project also aims to institutionalize this interdisciplinary approach in maternity and neonatology departments through special hospital projects and quality services.

The project’s general objective is to help reduce maternal and neonatal mortality in Algeria.

Its specific objective is to build capacity and interdisciplinary among perinatal staff, especially midwives, so that pregnancy and childbirth at risk can be better managed.

In all over the three years of the project 94,500 children should benefit from better care during pregnancy and childbirth, and specialized care during birth for those with debilitating conditions.

At the end of the project:

  • Maternal and neonatal mortality will have decreased over the four sites targeted by the project.
  • 100% of patients benefit from obstetrical risk screening
  • 80% patients will benefit from consultations from the 4th month
  • Violence in maternity services will have decreased
  • 280 midwives and child care nurses will have been trained.
  • At the end of the project 75% of trained staff have taken on new>
  • At the end of the project the four target sites will have a departmental project (PS) that will be able to implement these advances.