Dr. Anita Zaidi: 5-step plan to save children’s lives
This week Dr. Anita Zaidi was announced as the inaugural Caplow Children’s Prize million-dollar winner on Tuesday, December 10, 2013. Dr. Zaidi’s submitted 5-step plan is titled Saving children’s lives in a Pakistani village through a peri-natal care and primary health promotion intervention package and you can find some information about it here.
Dr. Zaidi’s plan will implement a combination of evidenced-based maternal, newborn and child health interventions to reduce child mortality in an impoverished fishing village in Karachi, Pakistan. The community comprises indigenous populations living in this area for hundreds of years, and dependent on fishing for their subsistence livelihoods. Malnutrition rates are 70%. The current under-5 mortality rate in the area is 106 per 1000 live births. In 2012 there were 1191 live births and 127 children under 5 years of age died. Of these, 69 were in the neonatal period. We aim to prevent 65% of these deaths by increasing the coverage of key evidence based interventions to 85%.
Interventions will be packaged across 5 key areas as described below:
1) Antenatal Care (ANC) and Counselling for Birth Preparedness. Women will be identified early in pregnancy through surveillance in which trained Community Health Workers (CHWs) will visit each household every three months. The CHWs will perform 2 ANC visits and encourage pregnancy registration at a USAID upgraded government maternity hospital for delivery. Transport will be provided.
2) Skilled delivery. All pregnant women in the area will be encouraged to give birth at the upgraded government facility. A conditional cash transfer of Rs. 2000 ($20) will be given to cover related expenses. Emergency obstetric transport will be provided. As a project legacy we will also sponsor training of 5 young women from the area as community midwives at Aga Khan University’s Midwifery School. These women will be identified with the help of local traditional birth attendants from their families so local support and business opportunities are in place.
3) Community Newborn and Infant Care. For all infants, CHWs will make home visits – weekly in the first 2 months, then monthly. They will promote exclusive breast-feeding, clean cord care, recognition of danger signs of illness, water and sanitation advice plus soap, and link to local immunization services. Sick infants will be managed according to WHO’s care guidelines for low-resource settings.
4) Nutrition Package. This will provide maternal calcium, iron, and folic acid supplementation during preconception period and pregnancy, balanced protein energy supplementation in pregnancy, Vitamin A and zinc supplementation for children less than 5 years of age, and complementary feeding advice based on local diets.
5) Promoting Immunization. The program will ensure greater than 90% coverage for vaccines included in the National Immunization Programme, including BCG, Hib, Measles, DPT, polio, Rotavirus, and Pneumococcal vaccines, and maternal tetanus vaccine.
You can also watch Dr.Zaidi’s video, The Difference We’ll Make…, below: