Maternal and Child Health

  • Congratulations Africa on eradicating wild poliovirus! USAID offers our deepest gratitude to all who made this historic milestone possible.

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  • During COVID-19, USAID is supporting good water, sanitation, and hygiene practices in health care facilities across the world.

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  • Check out the NEW 2020 Acting on the Call report which recognizes the invaluable role of nurses and midwives in saving maternal and child lives.

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  • USAID’s maternal and child health investments seek to ensure that all women and children have the same chance of a healthy life, with a focus on respectful and quality care during delivery and increasing access to basic, life-saving services for newborns

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When a mother dies in childbirth, her infant has only a 19% chance of surviving his or her first month.

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When interventions are delivered during labor and childbirth and immediate newborn care is provided, up to 51% of newborn deaths can be avoided.

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Diarrhea is one of the leading killers of children under-five, contributing to more deaths than HIV, malaria, and measles combined. An at-home treatment typically costs less than $.50.

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Immunization yields up to a 44-fold return on investment in low- and middle-income countries and averts an estimated 2 to 3 million child deaths each year.

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Women and girls without access to toilets spend 97 billion hours each year looking for a place to relieve themselves, translating into 97 billion hours of lost productivity.

In the past ten years, USAID has helped save the lives of more than 9.3 million children and 340,000 women.

USAID’s maternal and child health programs work to ensure that all women and children have the same chance of a healthy life, regardless of where they are born. Our efforts focus on 25 priority countries, that together account for more than two-thirds of maternal and child deaths worldwide. Despite this progress, more than 14,000 children and 830 women still die every day from causes we could have prevented. Mothers and children are invaluable to their families, communities, societies, and economies, and the loss of even one life robs these families and communities of their potential.

In 2018 alone, USAID helped 81 million women and children access essential—and often life-saving—health services.

USAID is a global leader in maternal and child health, and partners with governments to meet the health needs of their women and children. USAID's Acting on the Call reports present a roadmap with country-specific plans and updates on progress to address these needs. By helping keep women and children healthy, USAID is supporting countries on their pathway to self-reliance.

To achieve this goal, USAID works to improve the accessibility and quality of basic interventions that can save, and have saved, millions of lives, categorized into five key areas:

USAID acts as a catalyst to leverage new ideas, mobilize domestic resources, and accelerate global progress by uniting new partners around a common goal: ensure women and children have the same chance of survival, regardless of where they are born.

Success Stories


Related Resources

Acting on the Call Report

USAID’s Investments Save the Lives of Women and Children

More information on USAID's Maternal and Child Health program:





Technical Areas

   Child Health


   Maternal Health

   Newborn Health

   Water, Sanitation and Hygiene


Global Health


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