March 11, 2020

New donation from Ole Kirk’s Fond supports Maternity Foundation towards global impact

The Danish foundation, Ole Kirk’s Fond, will support Maternity Foundation’s Global Hub for Safer Deliveries in Copenhagen in 2020-2021. The continuous funding will support Maternity Foundation to provide the resources and know-how for scaling our Safe Delivery App and other digital maternal health tools to midwives across the world.

One of the most important approached to tackle maternal mortality worldwide is to ensure that midwives and other healthcare workers are equipped and trained to help mothers and newborns through a safe childbirth. Thanks to the support from Ole Kirk’s Foundation and other donors, Maternity Foundation is aiming to reach 250,000 health workers through digital training tools by the end of 2021 and thereby help ensuring a safer childbirth for millions of women and newborns.

Safer births in Ethiopia
Ole Kirk’s Fond has supported Maternity Foundation’s work in Ethiopia to train healthcare workers through digital tools and community activities since 2014.

Maternity Foundation’s Ethiopian team have led the national scale-up of our digital maternal health programs across the country. Together with our Ethiopian partners we have trained almost 5,000 health workers, primarily midwives, in use of the Safe Delivery App, including in the Gambella Refugee Camps, which are currently hosting more than 400,000 refugees from South Sudan. Another activity is integrating the Safe Delivery App into the country’s national curricula for midwives, thereby positioning Maternity Foundation as a key digital maternal health partner for the Ethiopian government.

Based on our experiences and results in Ethiopia, we are working to replicate our approach to other countries across Africa and Southeast Asia. We do this through Maternity Foundation’s headquarter in Copenhagen – named the Global Hub for Safer Deliveries.

It shouldn’t cost life to give life
Despite good progress within the field of maternal and newborn health, more than 800 women and 7,000 newborns still die every day due to causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. Up to 80% of these deaths can be averted if a skilled birth attendant, such as a midwife, is by the women’s side during childbirth. That is why we focus our work on training health workers to handle complications during pregnancy and childbirth.

At Maternity Foundation we work in the cross-field of technology, maternal health and professional education.  Our work with the Safe Delivery App is about much more than the App itself – it is about rolling it out in an efficient and sustainable way. This includes how to adapt the App into new language versions, how to conduct trainings in usage of the App, how to integrate the App into teaching curricula, and how to document the usage and impact of the App.

We work through a partner-based model, where we integrate the Safe Delivery App into existing training and health programs. We have already come far. The Safe Delivery App has been downloaded more than 125,000 times and we currently work with partners – including the Red Cross, PlanBørnefonden, UNFPA and ministries of health – in more than 10 countries across Africa, South East Asia and Central Europe.

Scaling sustainably
In order to efficiently scale our work – and reach even more women, newborns and birth attendants – we depend on financial support to maintain and strengthen our programmatic and administrative backbone. Thanks to the new donation from Ole Kirk’s Fond, we will be able pursue our ambitious goals for our Global Hub for Safer Deliveries, including rolling out the Safe Delivery App in 15 countries, adding new modules and language versions to the App and sharing experiences and results across all countries and programs.

At Maternity Foundation we want to become a global and digital trailblazer within health worker training. We want to change the way we think of training – whether it be in the classroom, on the job or as individualized learning – and we want to empower birth attendants everywhere with the confidence, skills and knowledge to save lives in childbirth. Thanks to the donation from Ole Kirk’s Fond, we will have the personnel, resources and tools to help achieve our goal of reaching 250,000 skilled birth attendants before end of 2021”, says Anna Frellsen, CEO of Maternity Foundation.