Born On Time

Born On Time is a Public-Private Partnership to Prevent Preterm Birth. This bold new initiative brings together expertise and resources from World Vision Canada, Plan Canada, Save the Children, the Government of Canada and Johnson & Johnson. Working closely with local governments and stakeholders, the partners are working to improve newborn survival, with a focus on preventing preterm birth in high-burden areas of Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Mali over five years (2015-20).

In Spring 2016, Born On Time will begin implementation of programs for prevention of preterm birth in Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Mali, where the burden of newborn death is high and governments are committed to improving survival rates. The five-year initiative will specifically address the risk factors which can lead to preterm birth: Lifestyle, Infection, Nutrition and Contraception (LINC). Working closely with local stakeholders, the partners will take a comprehensive approach throughout communities and regional health facilities with activities including:

a) Improving health service delivery

  • Train health care providers and community health workers to provide quality care for mothers before, between and during pregnancies, including reproductive health, nutrition, breastfeeding, screening/management of chronic and infectious diseases, and safe/clean delivery techniques
  • Improve local health facilities with essential equipment, supplies, and supply chain management for quality reproductive, maternal, and newborn care
  • Strengthen referral systems for high-risk deliveries, and preterm, low-birth weight babies

b) Increasing uptake of health services

  • Work with community/religious leaders, traditional birth attendants, youth groups and radio broadcasters and engage with men to raise awareness of family planning methods, healthy lifestyles, taboos related to preterm birth, and gender equality issues
  • Empower women’s self-confidence, negotiation and leadership skills

c) Strengthening data collection and utilization

  • Improve data collection and registration on birth, death and still birth at national, subnational and community level
  • Increase knowledge and use of data and evidence for preterm prevention

Save the Children’s participation in Born On Time will focus on Mali

In Mali men, as the primary decision makers, generally do not see maternal and newborn health and nutrition as their priority and women’s and girl’s voice are often excluded from community-level health services, which can mean decisions around healthcare do not reflect a focus on maternal and child health and needs. As such women are often hindered in their ability to seek healthcare for themselves and their children, and are limited in their ability to adopt preventive health measures such as family planning. Other important factors contributing to the high prevalence of preterm births in Mali include child, early, and forced marriage (CEFM) – in Mali, 55% of women aged 20 – 24 were married by 18 – and the high prevalence of violence against women and girls in the country.

Save the Children will work to conduct capacity-building activities on the gender equality dimensions of MNH to support the delivery of quality, gender-responsive reproductive health services. We will seek to empower girls and women by engaging them in health centre management boards and community health action groups in Mali, encouraging them to play a role as decision-makers in the community and at home. We will work to increase women’s and girls’ access to information and knowledge through a wide range of actions, such as the provision of information on healthy behaviors and care seeking through community awareness sessions. We will also engage the community, including traditional and religious leaders, older female decision-makers and especially men, as active partners of change through awareness-raising and social and behaviour change communication activities.

Learn more about Born On Time