In an effort to address the high number of unnecessary deaths during pregnancy and childbirth, Intel and UNFPA have announced a joint commitment to strengthen the skills of midwives and community health workers through technology and training materials from the two organizations.
The new initiative will increase the capacity of health workers around the world through software and technical assistance provided by Intel, and wider availability of higher-quality education through training and materials furnished by UNFPA. Boosting the skills and quality of services provided by frontline health workers would be a key result of this effort.
Intel will build on its commitment to the United Nations Every Woman, Every Child initiative to help train one million frontline health workers by 2015 under the Intel 1Mx15 Health initiative. According to the United Nations, every year, about 360,000 women die in pregnancy or childbirth and up to 2 million babies die within the first 24 hours of life, largely because they don’t have access to properly trained health workers.
As part of the initiative, the Intel skoool™ Healthcare Education Platform will provide open access multi-media content delivery in an anytime, anywhere capacity. The content delivery and assessment platform will further educate and train midwives and other frontline healthcare workers. Additionally, Intel will work with various governments to help increase the availability, affordability and usage of technology in order to enable healthy lives.
UNFPA, a United Nations agency dedicated to improving maternal health, will develop the content and training for health workers, together with relevant partners and professional organizations at both country and international levels. UNFPA will also engage national stakeholders to ensure the sustainability and multiplier effect of the program.
“We are looking forward to working with UNFPA and improve training for healthcare workers via technology and education,” said Mike Gann, director of global healthcare for the World Ahead Program at Intel. “By increasing the accessibility and affordability of ICT solutions, we would be able to equip the workforce with the correct tools to improve women and children’s health.”
The program will pilot in countries with high rates of maternal and newborn death. The collaboration will bring new forms of technology and training to the hardest hit areas of India, Bangladesh and Ghana.
“With this innovative collaboration, we are putting game-changing technology into the hands of the people who are saving the lives of women and newborns around the world,” said Werner Haug, director of UNFPA’s Technical Division. “UNFPA is inspired by Intel’s commitment and we look forward to strengthening the work for safe motherhood.”
For more information, contact Nicole Carta, Resource Mobilization Specialist, UNFPA.