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MSD for Mothers Joins First-of-Its-Kind Alliance to Save Mothers and Newborns in India

India is the world’s second most populated country and has the largest number of births. Of the 27 million births annually, an estimated 45,000 women die during or within 48 hours of delivery.1
"By sharing Merck’s scientific and business expertise in this partnership, it is my hope that the combined strengths and contributions of all involved will help create a sustainable model for high-impact solutions in India," said Ken Frazier, chairman and chief executive officer of Merck.

It is this experience and expertise that Project ĀSMĀN will draw on from each partner to further its goal of quality healthcare for all people in India. In line with the government’s agenda of reducing mortality rates, this first-of-a-kind alliance will support the introduction and implementation of high-impact interventions at the health facility level to ensure that no woman or child in the country dies due to preventable causes.

We have had programs to reduce maternal mortality in India since 2013. Many women in India turn to local private providers for healthcare because they are part of the community, have flexible hours, and offer personalized care; however, private health services can be unregulated, costly and of variable quality. That’s why we’re working with local doctors, nurses, and midwives to improve their ability to deliver affordable, high-quality maternal health services. Our programs are helping set, maintain, and deliver standards for care to ensure healthy pregnancies and safe childbirths. We believe this approach can have a lasting impact on ending preventable maternal mortality. With our local partners, we have strengthened nearly 800 health facilities; trained nearly 5,000 health workers; and provided nearly 250,000 women with reliable access to affordable, quality care. Learn more about our work in India.

1 Source: WHO report; WHO Bulletin