To address health system obstacles that have occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, we collaborate with partner countries to adapt the way essential health care is delivered to avoid disruptions in access to care and help sustain health gains for women and children.
The COVID-19 pandemic is the fastest-moving global public health crisis in a century. It continues to threaten decades of progress in maternal, newborn, and child health, voluntary family planning, and reproductive health (MNCH/FP/RH) services.
COVID-19’s impact on public health is further exacerbated by the economic impact of social distancing and closed businesses and schools, putting women and children at unintentional risk of poverty, hunger, and gender-based violence.
The pandemic is also testing the overall resilience of health systems, both in COVID-19 response and in providing other essential health services. Many public and private health facilities have limited health services due to a lack of skilled health providers and stockouts of medicines, diagnostics, contraceptives, and personal protective equipment.
Estimates from 2020 projected up to a 45 percent increase in monthly child deaths and a 39 percent increase in maternal deaths in some countries due to indirect causes, including the loss of MNCH services and voluntary family planning coverage under the most severe pandemic scenarios.1
We are reviewing the likely effects of the pandemic on MNCH/FP/RH services and outcomes such as immunizations and the emerging adaptations to mitigate these effects. We are also collaborating with global partners to develop and disseminate a guide to support monitoring the continued effects of COVID-19 on reproductive health care and MNCH essential services.
Ensure continuity of lifesaving health care
MOMENTUM is working with ministries of health and local partners to maintain COVID-safe access to quality MNCH/FP/RH services during COVID-19, including lifesaving care to address maternal and newborn emergencies. We are also concurrently increasing critical prevention interventions that increase overall MNCH services, including immunizations for children, and water, sanitation, and hygiene.
Strengthen the resilience of health systems to prepare and respond to pandemics
We help countries restore and stabilize their health systems while increasing their resilience to future acute shocks like infectious disease outbreaks and natural disasters. We are also working with countries to embed early warning and response systems to address risks, accelerating the availability of information at community and district levels for quicker planning and action.
Share emerging and evidence-based best practices
We are helping countries access and use evidence from previous global disease outbreaks and their effects on MNCH/FP/RH services to shape their short- and long-term pandemic response. In addition, we work with USAID partner countries to share information and learn how to mitigate the pandemic’s impact on their health systems. We also aid health planners to access, adapt, and adopt the latest global technical guidance as it evolves.
Support partnerships working to expand the availability of COVID-19 vaccines globally
Safe, effective COVID-19 vaccines have been developed and introduced at a record pace, but many people around the world still lack access to this lifesaving intervention. MOMENTUM is working with countries to identify and overcome supply- and demand-side challenges by introducing the COVID-19 vaccine to their populations.
Recognizing the value of private and public health sector partnerships for delivering quality health solutions, MOMENTUM is also working with the World Health Organization to document evidence on and opportunities for effective private sector engagement in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Many countries are already achieving successful public-private partnerships to support implementing guidance across the phases of the COVID-19 vaccine readiness and rollout.
- Timothy Roberton et al, “Early estimates of the indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on maternal and child mortality in low-income and middle-income countries,” Lancet Global Health 8 (2020): e901–08. https://doi.org/10.1016/8: e901–08