Project name: Enhancing Maternal and Child Health Services in Tamil Nadu, India

Host partner: Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Tamil Nadu

Singapore partner: KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH), SingHealth and Temasek Foundation International

Project aim: To improve maternal and child health services in Tamil Nadu.

Duration: 2015 - 2018

Outcomes: 785 healthcare professionals from tertiary healthcare centres experienced a rigorous train-the-trainers programme focused on clinical practice and pedagogy. As a result of the study visit to Singapore, the state government made the policy change of having four more nurses per shift for hospitals’ obstetric departments (adding to the previous number of three nurses) – a change doctors had been championing for many years as they tried to reduce maternal mortality numbers. Master Trainers from Chengalpattu Medical College (CMC) and MGM Medical College and Hospital (MGM) demonstrated proficiency and adaptability in delivering training to their staff and other healthcare workers in urban and rural primary health centres. The staff and patient ratio at MGM’s Maternal ICU improved to 1:1. CMC’s Neonatal ICU adopted the fishbone analysis, a tool introduced by Singapore International Volunteers. This was used to identify the root causes of sepsis, and the sepsis rate decreased from 2.8 per cent in 2017 to 1.5 per cent in 2017. In all, the project benefitted more than 100,000 pregnant mothers in Tamil Nadu, India.

Project name: Enhancing Maternal and Child Health Services in Bangalore in Karnataka, India

Host partner: State Institute of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Karnataka

Singapore partner: Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and SingHealth

Project aim: To reduce infant mortality rate and maternal mortality rate in Karnataka.

Duration: 2016 - 2019

Outcomes: A team of Singapore international Volunteers, led by A/Prof Tan Hak Koon, the Head of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at SGH, brought different partners in Singapore and India together to share expertise and work towards the reduction of infant mortality rate and maternal mortality rate in Karnataka. In all, 179 doctors, nurses, and public healthcare leaders from 63 government hospitals in Karnataka took part in workshops, discussions, a symposium, and a study visit to Singapore. The training focused on resuscitation of pregnant patients, management of pre-eclampsia/eclampsia, breech delivery, post-partum haemorrhage, infection control and neonatal resuscitation. One key emphasis: Multi-disciplinary teamwork in the management of maternal and neonatal emergencies. Additional training was given to 31 Master Trainers.

Project name: Nutrition for Children Project in Bangalore, India

Host partner: Parikrma Humanity Foundation

Singapore partner: Individual volunteers from the Singapore’s healthcare sector

Project aim: To help severely malnourished school children in Parikrma through the education of teachers, mothers, school caterers and students.

Duration: 2014 - 2016

Outcomes: A team of Singapore International Volunteers comprising nutritionists and dieticians worked with teachers from Parikrma to help them identify students with nutrition-related health problems and incorporate basic nutrition education into the curriculum. Caterers and mothers were taught ways to increase the nutritional value of each meal with their existing budget. The project culminated in a publication featuring healthy recipes and dishes that could be prepared with less than 100 rupees per day. The project positively impacted over 1,450 children between the ages of 5 and 17, and more than 1,200 families.