Singapore-India Collaboration to Enhance Maternal and Child Health Services in Karnataka

Three year pilot project to reduce infant and maternal mortality and morbidity in Karnataka

Bengaluru, India, 1 August 2016 – The Singapore International Foundation (SIF) in partnership with Singapore’s largest healthcare group, the Singapore health services, (SingHealth) together with the state Institute of Health and Family Welfare (SIHFW), Government of Karnataka, today launched a three-year training programme to reduce infant and maternal mortality and morbidity in Karnataka and create sustainable healthcare improvements for the community.

This collaborative effort entitled – “Enhancing Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Services Programme”, is designed to share knowledge in managing high-risk pregnancies, obstetric and neonatal emergencies, strengthen work systems and processes as well as to enhance the capacity of healthcare workers in delivering higher quality care for pregnant women and babies. An estimated 100,000 pregnant women and their newborn babies in Karnataka are expected to benefit from this enhanced MCH care.

Over the next three years, 200 healthcare professionals from tertiary and secondary care government hospitals in Karnataka will be trained by obstetricians, neonatologists, midwives and senior nurses from SingHealth’s flagship acute tertiary hospital, Singapore General Hospital (SGH). Through a series of training workshops and symposium, the multidisciplinary team from SGH’s Departments of Obstetrics and Gynaecology as well as Neonatal and Developmental Medicine will equip participants with the skills and knowledge to address and manage some of the key factors contributing to maternal and newborn deaths.

Out of the 200 trained Indian healthcare professionals, 40 Master Trainers will then train another 200 more medical professionals, cascading the impact within the community. A study trip to Singapore will also take place to facilitate further sharing of knowledge and expertise between both countries.

This partnership will see the three collaborating organizations draw on their community networks to share best practices and leaning journeys at a symposium in Karnataka. A study visit to Singapore will also take place to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and experiences of Singapore’s journey in enhancing MCH services.

The launch event, held this morning at the Vikasa Soudha was attended by both Singapore and Indian partners and beneficiaries, including Karnataka’s Principal Secretary to Government, Health and Family Welfare Department, Dr. Shalini Rajneesh, IAS, Dr. Ratan Kelkar, IAS, Mission Director, NHM, Consul General Mr. Roy Kho, Republic of Singapore, Mr Lian Wee Cheow, SIF Governor and Professor Tay Boon Keng and Associate Professor Chua Yeow Leng from SingHealth.

“Motherhood is an important and joyful stage in every woman’s life. Mothers and children constitute a priority group and also special risk group in any society. We believe that every woman is important and has the right to have a safe pregnancy and child birth irrespective of her class, caste, status or literacy. Maternal health is a sound investment strategy which denotes the human development index of a country. Maternal mortality is a sensitive  indicator, that helps to understand the health care system and also indicates the prevailing socio-economic scenario. India cantributes to 20% of global maternal deaths. Through this project, we aim to improve care for pregnant mothers and babies, ultimately lowering the Maternal Mortality Rate and Infant Mortality Rate in Karnataka and helping to create a reliable and sustainable heathcare environment for all our citizens,” said Dr. Shalini Rajneesh IAS, Principal Secretary to Government, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of Karnataka.

Said Mr Lian Wee Cheow, Singapore International Foundation, Governor, “The SIF brings world communities together to promote greater international understanding and development. I’m delighted that we could facilitate such a meaningful collaboration between the healthcare professionals of Singapore and India to raise standards of maternal and child health services in Karnataka. This collaboration will benefit some 100,000 pregnant women and their newborn babies. We look forward to this new partnership and the friendships to be formed between the peoples of India and Singapore.”

“We are privileged to partner our counterparts in Karnataka in this exchange programme. In sharing actionable ideas, skills and experiences, our healthcare teams will be better equipped to address the challenges of maternal and child health and improve the quality of care for generations to come,” added Prof Chua Yeow Leng, Group Director, International Collaboration Office, SingHealth.

This Enhancing Maternal and Child Health Services Programme is another milestone for the 21 year friendship between SIF and communities in India to uplift lives and build enduring friendship for a better world. We believe that it is important to speak collectively, act quickly and bring about visible and long lasting changes through this project.      

 

 

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