February 28, 2023

HRH Crown Princess Mary sheds light on the importance of quality maternal healthcare while visiting Maternity Foundation in India

Today, HRH Crown Princess Mary of Denmark visited the All India Institute Of Medical Science (AIIMS) hospital in New Delhi together with the international NGO Maternity Foundation to learn more about the significant progress made by India to reduce the national maternal mortality rate over the past 20 years. 

The Indian national maternal mortality ratio has declined significantly and is fast approaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals to reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030. Progress, however, has been uneven across the country, as some areas in India lack significantly behind the national average on maternal mortality.    

During the visit, HRH Crown Princess Mary learned how India’s quality improvement initiatives have been key in strengthening maternal health in the country and how the government is working with partners, including Maternity Foundation to build a stronger health worker cadre for improved health outcomes for mothers and their new-borns countrywide.  

The importance of quality of care is also reflected in the global data. Overall, evidence shows that the majority of all maternal deaths can be prevented if the women receive quality care from a skilled healthcare worker. The importance of investing in quality care is also reflected in new data showing that progress on reducing the global maternal mortality rate has stagnated after 2015 and that we must significantly accelerate progress to meet global targets for reducing maternal deaths, or else risk the lives of over 1 million more women by 2030. 

Digital solutions to help ensure safer births 

The Indian government partnered with Maternity Foundation in 2017 to scale up the use of the organisation’s Safe Delivery App and the accompanying training and learning programme, aiming to ensure safer childbirths for women and their newborns.  

HRH Crown Princess Mary is the Patron of Maternity Foundation and during the visit, she participated in a skills training session, where midwives and other healthcare workers made use of the app as an integrated part of the organisation’s training programmes. 

The Safe Delivery App is a clinical job aid and education tool that has been scaled globally, providing updated clinical guidance on how to manage childbirth and common birth complications, including severe bleeding, infections, and neonatal asphyxia, accounting for a large number of all maternal and neonatal deaths. The app is free to download, and it also works offline, making it possible to reach even the most remote healthcare workers.  

“We are proud to be scaling up the Safe Delivery Programme in India together with the Indian government and key partners. Through our digital tool combined with training, we can reach healthcare workers in areas of India where maternal mortality rates lack behind the national average. We can build up their skills and knowledge, ensuring safer births for both the mothers and their babies and hence improve the quality of care provided,” says Anna Frellsen, CEO of Maternity Foundation. 

Today, Maternity Foundation supports several states and is formally integrated into national-level initiatives focused on quality improvements, for practising healthcare workers, as well as those studying to become nurses or midwives. The Safe Delivery App is available in 8 languages (English, Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Odia, Telegu, Assamese), and over 150,000 healthcare workers have been reached.  

Globally, Maternity Foundation has partner engagement in more than 15 countries and has so far reached more than 390,000 healthcare workers in 40 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia. 

HRH Crown Princess Mary’s visit to the AIIMS hospital is part of a larger visit by Danish Government representatives to India, focusing on, among other things, collaboration on green investments and partnerships.