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United States Government Partnership with PATH and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation scales new approaches to improve child health in Mozambique and beyond
Wednesday, June 26, 2019; Maputo, Mozambique: Representatives from the Mozambican Government, the United States Government through USAID, the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, PATH, and FHI360 gathered today in Matola City to celebrate the successes of an innovative public-private partnership aimed at integrating early childhood development (ECD) into health and social action service delivery in Mozambique.
“A strong foundation for health and learning in early childhood has benefits that last into adulthood. That is why the Early Childhood Development partnership is so important,” said Dr. Jennifer Adams, Director of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
In Mozambique, the under-five mortality rate has been steadily decreasing in the last two decades. While more children are surviving, it is estimated that nearly 61 percent of children under five years are at risk of poor development and are therefore not thriving.
With a view to addressing this critical gap, under this partnership funded by USAID and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, PATH worked with the Maputo Direcção Provincial de Saúde (Provincial Health Directorate) and with individual Serviços Distritais de Saúde, Mulher e Acção Social (District Services for Health, Women and Social Action) to design, test, and implement a new approach to improving child development outcomes for children 0–3 years. Given that the health system is often the only means to consistently reach young children and their caregivers, PATH focused on integrating early childhood development measures into existing health services provided by the Mozambican Government and health partners. By integrating nurturing care, monitoring of developmental milestones for children under three years, and play sessions in health facility waiting areas into the daily operations of health facilities, this public-private partnership is providing an opportunity for young children in Mozambique to not just survive, but thrive.
PATH has a strong and successful history of working with Mozambican partners to improve nutrition and development outcomes for Mozambican children. This partnership enabled PATH and its government counterparts to scale up the provision of training, mentorship, and supportive supervision on nurturing care to reach nearly 80% of all health facilities and 100% of agentes polivalentes elementares (polyvalent community health agents) throughout the entire Maputo province. Under this partnership, PATH also provided training and technical support to partners in Sofala and Zambézia provinces on how to integrate nurturing care into early childhood development counseling in a home-based setting.
“This partnership has yielded the first program in Africa where nurturing care for ECD has been integrated in a province-wide health network and has reached a total of 407,871 caregivers and children under five years old.” said Ms. Melanie Picolo, PATH’s Project Director. “With this project, we are proving that these simple, low-cost approaches can be scaled across the health system with the potential to change the health trajectory of an entire generation.”
Innovations from the partnership are now being introduced throughout Mozambique. Through PATH’s advocacy efforts, nurturing care for early childhood development was integrated into key national health and nutrition strategies, curricula, clinical norms and protocols. Early childhood development indicators were also included in child health registers that are being rolled out across Mozambique. Moreover, lessons learned and materials and approaches developed from this partnership have reached a global audience. As a result, in partnership with the World Health Organization, countries such as Tanzania, Kenya, and Côte d’Ivoire are now using materials and tools developed in Mozambique to adopt similar approaches that will help ensure that children in these countries have the opportunity to reach their full development potential.
Early childhood development support for Mozambique will continue in Maputo and Nampula.
“This partnership was truly innovative and impactful. The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was very pleased to enter into a formal partnership with the Governments of Mozambique and the United States to elevate the importance of incorporating interventions to support the development of young children as part of health services – something that is somewhat new,” said Lisa Bohmer, Senior Program Officer with the Hilton Foundation.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) leads the U.S. Government’s international development and disaster assistance through partnerships and investments that save lives, reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance, and help people emerge from humanitarian crises. For more information about USAIDs work to foster sustainable development and advance human dignity visit www.usaid.gov.
Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was created in 1944 by international business pioneer Conrad N. Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels and left his fortune to help the world’s disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The Foundation invests in 11 program areas, including providing access to safe water, supporting transition age foster youth, ending chronic homelessness, hospitality workforce development, disaster relief and recovery, helping young children affected by HIV and AIDS, and supporting the work of Catholic sisters. In addition, following selection by an independent international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $2 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to a nonprofit organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. From its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1.7 billion in grants, distributing $112.5 million in the U.S. and around the world in 2018. The Foundation’s current assets are approximately $2.8 billion. For more information, please visit www.hiltonfoundation.org.
PATH is a global organization that works to accelerate health equity by bringing together public institutions, businesses, social enterprises, and investors to solve the world’s most pressing health challenges. With expertise in science, health, economics, technology, advocacy, and dozens of other specialties, PATH develops and scales solutions—including vaccines, drugs, devices, diagnostics, and innovative approaches to strengthening health systems worldwide. Learn more at www.path.org.
For more information about this press release, please contact the U.S. Embassy Maputo Press Office at MaputoPress@state.gov.