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Improving maternal and child health in Asia through innovative partnerships and approaches

Briefing/policy papers

Written by Fiona Samuels

​To help respond to a shortage of 7 million health workers worldwide and a growing overall burden of disease, CARE International UK has entered into partnership with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) as the implementing partner of  GSK’s 20% Reinvestment Initiative in Asia. This corporate community investment initiative aims to reinvest 20% of the  company’s profits into strengthening of community health systems in six of the least developed countries in which GSK operates. This strategic partnership between CARE and GSK focuses on improving maternal and neonatal child health by improving the quantity and quality of frontline community health workers in the most remote and marginalised communities in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Nepal. Through a mix of programming, lesson-learning and advocacy efforts, the initiative hopes to galvanise further national and international action on the health workforce issue. The CARE-GSK partnership is about to complete its first phase (2011-2015) and plans to continue and scale up its projects in 2015-2020.

This briefing provides highlights from the six country projects. First, it presents the key indicators and context for each of the countries, followed by the goals and objectives of each project, and then outlines their achievements and impact. The briefing ends with a discussion of the key approaches and models that the projects have developed also providing some broad conclusions and recommendations for strengthening community health systems with a particular focus on maternal and child health.

Fiona Samuels and Svetlana Ancker