Saving Mothers Giving Life (SMGL)

Project Description

Initiated by the United States Government (USG) in 2011, the global partnership for Saving Mothers, Giving Life (SMGL) is a public-private partnership with the aim of reducing maternal mortality by 50% during the first phase of implementation (June 1, 2012 – May 31, 2013) in four districts in Zambia.  To achieve this goal, the partnership has focused its efforts on: (1) increasing demand for maternal and newborn health services and (2) improving the quality of care in public health facilities, with particular attention to emergency obstetric and newborn care (EmONC).

As in all other districts, ZCAHRD/BU’s approach to implementation in Kalomo commenced with a comprehensive health facility assessment that determined the overall capacity, access to, and availability of equipment, supplies and radio communication systems at each facility. This process facilitated a phased approach to implementation of SMGL interventions. Facilities were prioritized based on the number of deliveries, distance from referral hospital, whether there were any staff members trained in EmONC, and number of staff members. Phase 1 consisted of 9 health facilities (February to March 2012), phase 2 involved 12 facilities (April to June 2012) and phase 3, 13 facilities (July to September 2012).

ZCAHRD’s quality improvement activities are focused on health center infrastructure improvements (improved lighting system through supply of solar lights/panels for delivery rooms and refurbishment of mothers’ shelters), provision of new equipment and supplies (e.g., ultrasound machines and oxygen concentrators), and introduction of emergency kits and emergency kit log books or registers which facilitate quick access to emergency supplies. They also include routine clinical mentorship designed to improve the management of obstetric and neonatal emergencies such as postpartum hemorrhage, eclampsia, shoulder dystocia, and birth asphyxia, as well as improved partograph use and the introduction of laminated checklists to facilities for quick reference in the delivery rooms. ZCAHRD also trained staff for early detection of complications leading to early referrals and improvements in the referral system and documentation and enhanced infection prevention practices. Transportation was improved through provision of an ambulance for pregnant women and communications through the SMS and Remind-me mHealth program by the ZCAHRD mHealth team. The ZCHARD team also introduced mothers’ shelters registries. Demand-side activities focused on community sensitization with tribal leaders through SMAGs and other community volunteers.

Project Details

Principal Investigator Donald M. Thea
Boston University Co-Investigators Godfrey Biemba, Irene Miti Singog, Katherine SemrauDavid HamerEmily HammondCorrie Haley
Country(ies) Zambia
Dates of Activity 2012-2013