Medela and Laerdal Global Health join forces to fight maternal & infant mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa
Baar, Switzerland and Stavanger, Norway, 23 March 2021.
A new partnership between Laerdal Global Health, a not-for-profit company focused on saving the lives of newborns and mothers in low-resource settings, and Medela, facilitated through Medela Cares, the company’s corporate social responsibility program, has been established to reduce maternal and infant mortality in the Sub-Saharan Africa region.
Maternal and infant mortality and morbidity are a global health challenge. The vast majority of these deaths (94%) occur in low- and middle-income countries, with Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia accounting for 86% of maternal deaths1. Skills and competence on Vacuum Assisted Birth (VAB) is a pivotal part of the midwives’ scope of practice, where there is a need for regular training. By combining expertise, Medela and Laerdal Global Health will provide a highly effective, low-cost solution for caregivers to increase the quality of care.
The program will launch in Tanzania with the aim of initially training more than 400 midwives with the intention to scale up nationally and extend to other Sub-Saharan countries. The VAB training includes the MamaBirthie simulator and skills trainer from Laerdal Global Health and vacuum-assisted delivery kit from Medela, which will be delivered in a one-day training module developed by Jhpiego.
“At Medela, we recognize that technology and access are essential for improving health outcomes for new mothers and their infants in developing countries around the world,” said Annette Brüls, CEO of Medela. “This new partnership with LGH reinforces our UN Global Compact focus on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3, to help accelerate the decline of maternal mortality by 2030 (70 per 100,000 births) and ensure healthy lives as well as promote well-being for all at all ages. Together with LGH, we are committed to supporting the midwives in the Sub-Saharan African region with resources, our devices and training that is critical to their ongoing efforts to build better health outcomes for these families.”
Women living in low resource settings are less likely to receive adequate health care and support from skilled health workers, which is even more evident during the pandemic. Research shows that access to a skilled birth attendant occurs in 90% of births in high-income settings, while fewer than half of births in low-income settings are assisted by such skilled personnel.
“It’s our goal to help save one million more lives every year, by 2030,” said Tore Laerdal, Executive Chairman of Laerdal Global Health. “The majority of these lives saved will be as a result of the work we do to help save the lives of mothers and babies at birth. Through our global health partnerships, like the one we are launching with Medela, we believe we can help save the lives of 550.0000 mothers and babies every year.”
The partnership between Laerdal Global Health and Medela will provide products, simulation equipment, and educational training materials to support midwives and caregivers to prevent and manage birth complications. This innovative solution will provide healthcare workers with the tools they need to save the lives of mothers and babies at birth.
Medela is a long-term trusted UNICEF partner for VAB. Alongside its VAB solutions, Medela provides a number of NGOs, such as the ICRC, MSF and UNFPA, with custom-made suction solutions for treating people in regions with minimal infrastructure - helping to improve access to care, build better health outcomes and reduce maternal and infant mortality.