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India Fact Sheet

MSD for Mothers is our 10-year, $500 million initiative that applies MSD's scientific and business expertise – as well as its financial resources and experience in taking on tough global healthcare challenges – to reduce preventable maternal mortality worldwide. To achieve this, we are providing transformational and sustainable solutions focused on improving the quality of maternal healthcare women receive at a health facility and increasing women's access to family planning.

Maternal Mortality in India
India has come a long way in reducing maternal mortality due to a range of government-led efforts. The National Rural Health Mission and initiatives like the Janani Suraksha Yojana and Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana have helped lower the number of women who die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth in India from an estimated 152,000 deaths in 1990 to 45,000 in 2015 (69% reduction). However, India still has the second highest number of maternal deaths worldwide.i Women in rural villages and urban slums are disproportionately affected by maternal mortality. Maternal mortality remains too big and complex an issue for one sector to shoulder alone – it requires a coordinated effort among the government, nonprofits, and the private health sector.

Programs and Partners
We have committed $10 million to innovative partnerships with leading non-governmental organizations. These partnerships will engage and explore the potential of local private providers and health businesses to strengthen maternal healthcare in three states with particularly high rates of maternal mortality: Jharkhand (278 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births), Rajasthan (331 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births), and Uttar Pradesh (345 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births).ii The partnerships are setting out to improve the affordability, accessibility, and quality of private maternal health services and reach nearly 500,000 pregnant women over the next three years.

Our partners and activities to improve maternal healthcare in India include:

Hindustan Latex Family Planning Promotion Trust (Rajasthan)

With Hindustan Latex and Family Planning Promotion Trust, we are adapting a sustainable franchise network of private hospitals and health workers to a new context so women in rural and peri-urban Rajasthan have better access to care throughout their pregnancy.

Jhpiego in partnership with the Federation of Obstetric and Gynecological Societies of India (Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh)

With Jhpiego, we are developing standards of quality care and helping private providers meet these standards through training, continuous quality improvement, and accreditation.

Pathfinder International in partnership with World Health Partners (Uttar Pradesh)

With Pathfinder International and World Health Partners, we are taking a total market approach to strengthen and link the public and private sectors. We are adapting a health franchise network to include maternal health, linking remote providers to higher level care through referral and telemedicine, and ensuring that quality supplies reach the last mile.

White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood in partnership with Gram Vaani (Jharkhand)

With the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood and Gram Vaani, we are designing a free mobile platform that uses interactive voice response technology to reach low-income women with limited literacy. The tool allows women to rate the care they receive and hold private providers accountable for delivering high quality services.


Implementing Partners



i Trends in Maternal Mortality: 1990 to 2015
apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/194254/1/9789241565141_eng.pdf?ua=1
ii Planning Commission (Government of India). Twelfth Five Year Plan - 2012 - 2017. (New Delhi, 2013)