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Improved Health Care Quality, Increased Community Involvement Helped Reduce Infant Mortality In Malawi, Study Shows

“A combination of strategies aimed at improving the quality of care for mothers in rural Malawi has dramatically reduced newborn mortality,” and “[e]xperts say it could be a model for similar programs in other countries with poor pre- and postnatal care,” VOA News reports. A five-year study found that when used together, “improving health care quality at birthing facilities [and] community involvement in helping the mother get the professional care she needed” were more effective in reducing neonatal mortality than either strategy used alone, the news service notes. “However, the Malawi trial did not show a significant reduction in maternal mortality,” according to VOA. Tim Colbourn, a population expert at University College London who analyzed the data, “says the [WHO] and other [non-governmental organizations (NGOs)] are evaluating the Maikanda approach, which means ‘mother baby’ in the native Chichawa language, in other low-income countries,” VOA writes, noting, “The study was funded and carried out by the non-governmental Health Foundation with support by partners in the U.S. and Britain” (Berman, 6/24).