Investing in lasting change requires a whole of society approach. By tackling maternal and child health issues from the community level to national and regional policy arenas, the Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa Initiative supported equitable lifesaving solutions including improving the quality and provision of health services and removing cultural and gender-related barriers to access healthcare.
Changing the lives of women and children in sub-Saharan Africa
Major progress has been made worldwide in reducing maternal and child morbidity and mortality. These improvements contribute toward achieving Targets 3.1 (Reduce maternal mortality) and 3.2 (End all preventable deaths under 5 years of age) of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3 (Good Health and Well-being). Nevertheless, this progress is not uniform around the world. Sub-Saharan Africa is among the regions that still registers a high number of maternal and child deaths, most of which are caused by preventable and treatable diseases.
The Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa (IMCHA) initiative sought to support locally relevant interventions that foster better health outcomes. From 2014 to 2022, IMCHA made important strides toward improving the lives of women and children in 11 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Co-funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC), IMCHA was an eight-year, CAD36-million initiative.
Practical solutions to tackle difficult challenges
The following seven tiles highlight some of IMCHA’s success stories and lessons learned to improve policies and practices for better maternal and child health outcomes.