MUMBAI: The US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Kiawah Trust of the UK and an Indian foundation launched a $14 million partnership on Wednesday for the healthcare needs of adolescent girls, mothers, newborns and kids in India.
According to the trust, India’s mortality statistics are alarming and a huge percentage is completely avoidable. About 67,000 mothers die each year from complications during pregnancy and childbirth. Almost half the children under the age of five suffer from chronic malnutrition, with about 70% of these suffering from anemia. To address maternal and child mortality,
The alliance will enable greater engagement and committed resources through a multi-stakeholder approach focused on fostering innovation, improving health outcomes, and scaling high impact interventions.
Dr Rajiv Shah, USAID administrator, said: “Partnership and inspiration born of local solutions hold the key to achieving unprecedented
gains in health, prosperity, and dignity.” USAID invited India’s entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, foundations, financial institutions, investors and philanthropists to join it in driving meaningful solutions to India’s development challenges. Neera Nundy, co-founder of Dasra, a strategic philanthropic foundation, the Indian component of the partnership, said USAID would invest in local partners rather than the national ones. “We are building an ecosystem to engage different stakeholders to get to know the grassroot problems and their solutions.”
Dasra’s research report Owning Her Future, funded by the Kiawah Trust, shows that the root cause of maternal and child mortality is closely linked to the age of marriage and first pregnancy. This, in turn, is heavily influenced by level of schooling, livelihood options, access to clean drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene. “It is these issues that we plan to target directly,” said Shah.