Informed decisions for actions in maternal and newborn health

Better Birth

Better Birth

Harvard School of Public Health

Better Birth is testing whether adoption of the WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist programme in birth facilities in Uttar Pradesh, India, improves health outcomes for mothers and newborns. The programme was developed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Harvard School of Public Health over the past 3 years. It builds upon the success of a pilot study in South India that demonstrated dramatic improvement in health workers' adherence to essential childbirth practices.

WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist

The WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist is a 29-item tool comprising accepted standards of care that target the major killers of mothers and babies in low resource settings. The checklist directly supports health quality assurance standards set by the Indian Government and offers the potential for a simple method to support frontline health workers to adhere to mandated childbirth protocols and guidelines.

The project is run by the Harvard University School of Public Health, USA, in collaboration with the World Health Organization, Populations Services International, India, Community Empowerment Laboratory, and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Better Birth is implementing the following innovations in Uttar Pradesh, India:

  • Training and support to implement the WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist.
  • Lessons learned will inform and facilitate scaling up of the WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist programme in India, other high priority countries worldwide and policy-making for meeting Millennium Development Goals.