We partner with the Government of India to improve the health of women, children, and communities.
MOMENTUM is partnering with nearly 40 countries to accelerate progress and advance USAID’s work to save lives and improve health outcomes for women, children, families, and communities. MOMENTUM combines specialized technical and country expertise through six distinct yet integrated awards with the depth and breadth of experience to improve maternal, newborn, and child health and wellbeing.
Four MOMENTUM projects—Country and Global Leadership, Private Healthcare Delivery, Safe Surgery in Family Planning and Obstetrics, and Routine Immunization Transformation and Equity—partner with the Government of India and local organizations to improve the health of women, children, and families through the public and private sectors.
MOMENTUM also supports two projects in India, Saksham, and SAMVEG (Systems Approach for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health focusing on Vulnerable Geographies). Saksham implements high-impact health interventions for women and children in Assam, Chhattisgarh, and Odisha, while SAMVEG focuses on strengthening care for mothers and children in vulnerable populations in Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and Uttarakhand states. These projects are funded through bilateral agreements with the USAID India office and operate independently but are affiliated with the global MOMENTUM suite.
Delivering COVID-19 Vaccines
The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 resulted in a massive surge of COVID-19 cases and deaths across India, putting the country’s public health system under tremendous strain.1 MOMENTUM Routine Immunization Transformation and Equity works with the Government of India and 18 state governments to help Indians get vaccinated against COVID-19. MOMENTUM helps improve the supply chain for COVID-19 vaccines; find and train health workers to administer the vaccines; and spread best practices about vaccine administration and monitoring. The project has trained over 94,000 health workers on administering COVID-19 vaccinations and has partnered with 26 local organizations to customize strategies to deliver vaccines to vulnerable populations most at risk of contracting COVID-19, including the elderly, persons with disabilities, remote and tribal communities, and mobile communities. MOMENTUM has helped to vaccinate 6.1 million people from vulnerable groups.
MOMENTUM works with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, state health authorities, and development partners to exchange information and lessons learned nationally and internationally to improve vaccination program implementation and efficacy within the country and across the globe.
Learn how MOMENTUM supports COVID-19 vaccination in India.
Maintaining Essential Health Services During COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic in India was accompanied by an increase in domestic violence and sexual assault against women; the National Commission of Women recorded a 2.5 times increase in domestic violence between March and May 2020.2 The pandemic also overwhelmed the health system and affected the performance of health care workers, with 53 percent of health workers at risk of psychological distress.3 MOMENTUM Safe Surgery in Family Planning and Obstetrics works with individuals, communities, and the public health system to respond to and mitigate COVID-19-exacerbated gender-based violence in communities and strengthen the primary health system’s capacity to deal with COVID-19 cases among newborns, adolescents, and women of reproductive age. MOMENTUM also bolsters community health workers’ resilience and self-efficacy around psychological well-being.
Learn how MOMENTUM has addressed disrupted health services for women and children during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fostering Innovations for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health
The MOMENTUM-affiliated Saksham project recently held the Aavishkar Challenge, a contest for innovations in the maternal, newborn, and child health space. The project identified three noteworthy innovations: Neowarm, designed to prevent hypothermia in premature newborns; Fetosense, a portable machine that measures fetal heart rates; and Savemom, a bracelet pregnant women can wear to track their vitals. Saksham helps demonstrate these innovations in districts where it works, connecting their creators with state officials and seed funding to run pilot programs.
Additionally, Saksham identifies point-of-care diagnostic devices for sickle cell anemia, which is prevalent in the project’s intervention areas in tea gardens and tribal districts. This aligns with the Indian Government’s goal of eradicating the disease by 2047, ensuring timely and accurate diagnosis.
Improving Digital Health Systems
MOMENTUM Safe Surgery in Family Planning and Obstetrics works with partners in the states of Jharkhand and Karnataka to make health data collection more efficient and effective and make data more widely available for use in program budgeting, planning, and quality improvement monitoring. With our partners, we are developing a digital portal to monitor obstetric surgeries at health facilities. We are also collaborating with our partners to strengthen their health management information systems to improve data collection, quality, and monitoring related to cesarean deliveries.
The MOMENTUM-affiliated Saksham project also enhances health care for women and children through several digital interventions. A key digital initiative is the MOMENTUM dashboard, which integrates district-level Management Information Systems to create more comprehensive data, empowering state and district officials to make evidence-based decisions for maternal, newborn, and child health. Saksham also leverages community and facility-based platforms to create a cohesive digital ecosystem for communities and health facilities to improve maternal and child health.
Evidence suggests that integrating family planning and immunization services can lead to increased use of family planning, with no negative impact on immunization services.4 MOMENTUM Private Healthcare Delivery is working with Suvita, an Indian organization, to include information on family planning for mothers in its digital immunization platform.
Partnering with Young People to Make Informed Health Decisions
Nearly one in four girls in India is married by her 18th birthday, putting them at risk for early and unplanned pregnancies.5 MOMENTUM Country and Global Leadership: India-Yash partners with youth champions and local leaders in the Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Tripura, and Sikkim to help them make informed decisions about their health. We use a positive youth development approach to engage young people with their families, communities, and governments. In addition, our partnerships with local health systems help youth access a range of quality, affordable family planning methods and other essential health services so they can lead healthy and productive lives.
MOMENTUM helps civil society and youth-led organizations champion family planning and reproductive health care for young people. We also partner with youth champions to change community norms and policies on issues like gender roles, gender-based violence, menstrual hygiene, and early marriage by working with local leaders.
To help make family planning services in both the public and private sectors more friendly and accessible to young people, MOMENTUM Safe Surgery in Family Planning and Obstetrics provides financial and technical support to partners for provider training and mentorship to overcome potential biases and help facilities design services specifically for youth.
Learn more about how MOMENTUM Country and Global Leadership: India-Yash engages with adolescents and youth to make decisions about their reproductive health.
Providing Access to a Full Range of Contraceptive Methods
Forty-two percent of all women in India are currently using modern contraception, with sterilization the most common method: nearly one in three women of reproductive age have undergone the procedure.6 MOMENTUM Safe Surgery in Family Planning and Obstetrics partners with local organizations and providers in six Indian states—Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Assam, and Karnataka—to help people access the information and services they need to make voluntary and informed decisions about family planning at every stage of their lives. This collaboration focuses on increasing awareness of long-acting reversible contraceptive methods, such as intrauterine devices, and working with public and private providers and individuals to address common myths and misconceptions about contraceptive methods through training and social behavior change efforts. The partnership also works with public and private providers to deliver high-quality and safe surgical methods of contraception, specifically for women during the postpartum and post-abortion periods and for men through no-scalpel vasectomies.
Making It Safer to Deliver by Cesarean Section
Nearly one in five Indian women who deliver their baby in a health facility does so by cesarean section.7 MOMENTUM Safe Surgery in Family Planning and Obstetrics works with state governments, technical resource groups, professional associations, and health workers to make cesarean deliveries safer and more accessible by:
- Helping develop and update technical guidelines.
- Strengthening midwives’ client counseling and supervisory skills.
- Creating and strengthening systems that provide health workers with ongoing mentorship and oversight.
- Improving referral systems through innovations in digital technology.
Reaching Vulnerable Populations with Lifesaving Health Care
The MOMENTUM-affiliated SAMVEG project aims to fill critical gaps in health systems, encourage innovations, and scale up and sustain interventions for maternal, newborn, and child health. It focuses on India’s most vulnerable geographies, establishing partnerships with the private sector and professional bodies to leverage resources, improve program monitoring and oversight, and bridge gaps between policy and implementation. SAMVEG implements activities to reach vulnerable populations in Jharkhand, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, and Uttarakhand states with a focus on vulnerable geographies and poor-performing districts.
Supporting the National Technical Advisory Group for Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health and Nutrition
The MOMENTUM-affiliated Saksham project is helping to form a National Technical Advisory Group for Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health and Nutrition to provide guidance, expertise, and strategic direction for national maternal, newborn, and child health programs and policies. The Advisory Group collaborates with the Maternal Health and Child Health division of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to identify areas requiring support and develop technical and operational guidelines for its programs. The group also assesses the feasibility, cost-effectiveness, and scalability of existing and upcoming innovations for better maternal and child health outcomes and recommends evidence-based best practices for scalability and identifies national-level champions to advocate and promote high-impact practices.
Working With Nurses to Deliver Essential Care
India is home to over 2 million nurse-midwives and nearly 1 million auxiliary nurse-midwives.8 As nurses are critical to delivering health care to women and children throughout the country, MOMENTUM Country and Global Leadership partners with the World Health Organization (WHO), the Indian Nursing Council, and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to help the Indian national government and governments in several Indian states implement recommendations from the latest international guidance, including WHO’s State of the World’s Nursing Report 2020 and Strategic Directions for Nursing and Midwifery 2021-2025 and UNFPA’s State of the World’s Midwifery Report 2021.
Using workforce data collected by the government, we assist India’s national government and select state governments in addressing issues that negatively impact services delivered by nurses and midwives. This collaboration allows us to identify gaps in relevant health policy and understand how policies are implemented, enabling us to make recommendations to national and state governments that align with global standards and help improve the quality of care that women and children receive.
Our Achievements in India
15.5 million people
MOMENTUM has helped vaccinate 15.5 million people across 18 states against COVID-19.
By March 2023, MOMENTUM reached 7,271,469 youth with interventions to improve health knowledge, behaviors, norms, or assets.
MOMENTUM Country and Global Leadership: Jhpiego, State Ministries of Health, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Leading Purpose Campaigns India Pvt. Ltd., Quicksand Design Studio Pvt. Ltd. (Quicksand), Child in Need Institute (CINI), Final Mile Consulting LLC, Student Partnership WorldWide India Project Trust, Villgro, Impact Innovators and Entrepreneurs Foundation, International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), Centre for Catalyzing Change (C3), The Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), Vihara Innovation Network, Imprint Associates, Group M, Dhanush, Ekjut, Sphere
MOMENTUM Private Healthcare Delivery: PSI India Private Limited, Suvita
MOMENTUM Safe Surgery in Family Planning and Obstetrics: Government of India Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW), State Ministries of Health (Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, and Orissa), Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI)
MOMENTUM Routine Immunization Transformation and Equity: John Snow India Private Limited, HelpAge India, Indian Social Responsibility Network (ISRN), Karuna Trust, Lords Education and Health Society (LEHS), MAMTA Health Institute for Mother and Child, John Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (JHCCP), Center for Communication and Change – India (CCC-I), Solidarity and Action Against The HIV Infection in India (SAATHII), George Institute for Global Health, The INCLEN Trust International, Society for All Round Development (SARD), Hindustan Latex Family Planning Promotion Trust (HLFPPT), Transport Corporation of India Foundation (TCIF), Plan India, Madhya Pradesh Voluntary Health Association (MPVHA), Voluntary Health Association of Tripura (VHAT), Karnataka Health Promotion Trust (KHPT), Jatan Sansthan, Samarthan – Centre for Development Support, Marathwada Gramin Vikas Sanstha (MGVS), ISAP India Foundation, Shanta Memorial Rehabilitation Centre (SMRC), YR Gaitonde Center for AIDS Research and Education (YRGCARE), Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA), Mission Foundation Movement (MFM), Sewa Bharti, Dhara Sansthan, Asra Samajik Lok Kalyan Samiti (ASRA), Ladli Foundation Trust, The Leprosy Mission Trust India
SAMVEG: IPE Global
Learn more about USAID’s programs in India.
- Samarasekera, Udani. June 2021. “India grapples with second wave of COVID-19.” The Lancet Microbe 2(6): E238. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2666-5247(21)00123-3
- National Human Rights Commission [India]. Human Rights Advisory on Rights of Women in the Context of COVID-19. October 7, 2020. https://nhrc.nic.in/sites/default/files/Advisory%20on%20Rights%20of%20Women_0.pdf
- Menon GR, Yadav J, Aggarwal S, Singh R, Kaur S, Chakma T, Periyasamy M, Venkateswaran C, Singh PK, Balachandar R, Kulkarni R, Grover A, Mishra BK, Viray M, Devi KR, Singh KHJ, Saha KB, Barde PV, Thomas B, Suresh C, A D, Watson B, Selvaraj P, Xavier G, John D, Menon J, Philip S, Mathew G, David A, Vaman RS, Sushan A, Singh S, Jakhar K, Ketharam A, Prusty R, Kishore J, Venkatesh U, Kumar S, Kanungo S, Sahoo K, Swain S, Lyngdoh A, Diengdoh J, Syiemlieh P, Sarkar A, Velhal G, Kharnare S, Nandanwar D, Rao MVV, Panda S. Psychological distress and burnout among healthcare worker during COVID-19 pandemic in India-A cross-sectional study. PLoS One. 2022 Mar 10;17(3):e0264956. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0264956. PMID: 35271652; PMCID: PMC8912126.
- Kuhlmann A, Gavin L and Galavotti C. “The integration of family planning with other health services; a literature review.” International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 2010; 36(4):189-196. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21245025/
- International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) and ICF. 2021. National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5), 2019-21: India. Mumbai: IIPS. https://dhsprogram.com/pubs/pdf/FR375/FR375.pdf
- International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) and ICF. 2021. National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5), 2019-21: India. Mumbai: IIPS.
- World Health Organization (WHO). Births by Caesarean Section. The Global Health Observatory. https://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.BIRTHSBYCAESAREAN?lang=en
- World Health Organization (WHO). “Midwives – central to providing quality care to mothers and newborns during COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.” May 2020. https://www.who.int/india/news/photo-story/detail/midwives—central-to-providing-quality-care-to-mothers-and-newborns-during-covid-19-pandemic-and-beyond
Last updated December 2023.