Global Organization for Maternal & Child Health
Go-MCH: Our mission is to improve the survival and well being of infants, women, and children in impoverished communities using evidence-based research and proven community interventions advised by our scientific advisory members in the field. Our programs aim to be high impact and sustainable for long term solutions that can save a life, and make it last.
What We Do:
Go-MCH focuses on Capacity Building, Reducing Duplication, Sustainability, and Scientific evidence-based programs imbedded in monitoring and evaluation with baseline data, and results have illustrated marked survival improvements. This ensures our programs can provide the highest impact, work efficiently, and ensure the most effective levels of intervention to support women and children who need it most.
We use experts from the field through our network of contacts and our Scientific Advisory Board to identify and develop culturally sensitive programs customized to the locality in which the program serves.
The Board of Directors is comprised of specialists with unique backgrounds and educations, who provide essential perspectives on maternal and child health, community building, family-related social issues, and barriers to accessing healthcare and are committed to improving maternal and child health within the United States and internationally.
Intervention programs are being developed to improve access in the following areas:
✤ Health Care
✤ Newborn Survival
✤ Maternal Survival
Go-MCH works to combat barriers of culture, religion, and oppression in nations where these issues affect women and children’s ability to access needed services.
Though our mission is not politically oriented, our goal is to improve a family’s health and well being, add to collaborative projects and advocate to those who need a voice. Our work involves communication, scientific inquiry, research, and education.
Go-MCH strives to reduce duplication of programs and instead prioritize partnerships to and expand capacity and impact to existing services. We do this through collaboration and communication with volunteers from our Scientific Advisory Board as well as a variety of resources based on research.
We also are working to link existing community resources together to help the people who need it most. Often times, small NGOs and community organizations do not have the time to pull resources from other areas. Through this, we hope to help donation and grant dollars go further and improve the services from which women, infants, and children can benefit long term.
Nigeria: Pediatric Palliative Care
Palliative care for children in Nigeria is under-funded and under-resourced. We are working with our partner, the Center for Palliative Care, Nigeria (CPCN) to provide a community level palliative care center responsive to the cultural and community needs of families with sick children. We hope to help CPCN reach and provide clinically appropriate services to more children who are suffering and in pain from chronic and terminal illnesses.
There are economic as well as cultural barriers preventing children from accessing the care they need during the most painful time in their short lives. There is also a hesitation for family members to acknowledge the possibility of their child being in pain or having a chronic illness that could lead to death. Parents are often reluctant to acknowledge illnesses and therefore do not seek out pain medication or palliative care treatments.
We are also hoping to improve the system of palliative care across regions of Africa by partnering with larger multi-national NGOs and advocacy groups. The needs vary from country to country, however across nations there is a lack of systemized and standardized care, as well as lack of opportunities for training and recruiting clinicians.
We support the utilization of the most effective evidence-based methodology to effectively provide quality care and community outreach and education for families. We are also working to link partners with larger organizations to create more effective systems of care, we contribute more knowledge to the field with our work. There is a lack of available evidence with regards to the sensitive cultural and economic issues in low resource areas such as Nigeria. However, many of the same methodologies utilized in industrialized nations also need standardization in Nigeria, in addition to increased funding to support reliable care and consumables such as prescriptions and pain relief.
We are working to identify new ways of reaching out to the community and effectively overcoming cultural taboos related to acknowledging death and dying to enable parents to seek palliative care for their children, and also achieve continuous clinical management of palliative care from the community to the advanced clinical level in a tertiary hospital, which will in turn demonstrate to the Nigerian government, the value of investing in palliative care in their National Health Plan.
Opportunities for change include:
- Improved quality of care for the palliative care delivery system by clinicians at the hospital and community level
- Improved referral systems from the community to the hospital
- Standardized pain management and identification monitoring systems through the standardization of outcomes measurements.
- Expanded capacity of the hospital: more clinicians who are trained to provide palliative care treatment.
- Improved availability of morphine and other analgesics to children with cancer and other life limiting illnesses requiring pain management
- Improved forms of other methods symptom control including some first line chemotherapy, drugs, antiemetics for children receiving chemotherapy, antimicrobials for minor infections such as fungal infections and malaria, dressings for wounds, multivitamin preparations to boost their immunity
- Improved recreational and educational facilities for children receiving palliative care in the children’s day care centre
Nepal’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake has created immense devastation for the women, children, and families who, to begin with, had very little. The death toll is nearing 4,000, with over 6,500 injured as of April 27th.
We have all seen pictures of families who did survive at a loss as their homes are not inhabitable, there is no clean water, food, and they have no access to clean supplies. As the Red Cross and other emergency relief organizations support emergency response, we are targeting donation funds to the villages surrounding Nepal who have always had very little, and now have nothing.
Villagers are sleeping in rudimentary tents outside in the fields as their homes are no longer inhabitable. There is no protection from the wind, rain, or other elements. There is no electricity, heat, or light. Children, elderly, and the sick are more at risk for illness and death now, than ever before.
Our long-time partners who have built schools and supported women’s groups, whose families and themselves live in the outskirts of Kathmandu, will be managing the distribution to ensure that funds are being used for the urgent needs, as well as for re-building. Funds will be sent every week as we receive donations.
Use the donation button on the right. After typing in a dollar amount and logging in, you can specify the “Nepal Earthquake Relief” for your donation.
Our hearts go out to the children and families devastated by the Nepal Earthquake and we are working closely with our trusted partners native to Nepal and the Kathmandu surrounding villages to ensure funds are being used quickly and appropriately to help families cope, survive this tragedy, and rebuild.
Featured image and Nepal map: BBC News
Go-MCH works to improve the survival of women and children with scientifically-based, culturally sensitive, local solutions that are developed using strategies advised by medical and public health experts living in the communities in which we serve.
Our Board of Directors is comprised of public health specialists and physicians with a background and career focused on the health and well-being of low income women and children in the US and internationally. The dedicated board communicates on a weekly i not daily basis and meets as a group regularly as part of bi-annual meetings and quarterly meetings. There are sub-committees focused on particular programs and systems, as well as ongoing communication and collaboration with members of the Scientific Advisory Board. The board of directors is the primary driving force behind all of the programs and initiatives. Please see Go-MCH_BoD-Summary_2015.
Our Board of Directors works in partnership with the Scientific Advisory Board, comprised of members who live in the communities we serve and not only understand the intricacies of the culture, but also current available resources, are connected to other NGOs, governmental agencies, and community activities. Members provide guidance on NGO partnerships and drive the organization’s initiative and program priorities. Members volunteer their time and communicate via, phone, email, video chat, and cloud tools. Their participation is integral to ensuring community, ethnic, and economic needs of the population are understood during program development phase, and are committed to making a difference.
Go-MCH is lead by a group of volunteer doctors, scientists, and public health specialized focused on international Maternal and Child Health, and with a breadth of experience they bring with them to develop compelling initiatives and work as part of the Board of Directors and the Scientific Advisory Board. Working on a volunteer basis ensures that every dollar goes strait to the field, the programs being implemented, and the women and children needing health care, nutrition, clean water, and medicine. Dedicated scientists and doctors donate their time, energy, and resources to work together and achieve the goals of Go-MCH. Through a network of shared online resources and collaboration tools, we stay connected from all ends of the world; and many of the online tools we use are very low cost or completely free.
Our cost-conscious administrative decisions are what enable us to maintain extremely low overhead and keep all donations going directly to the women and children who need it most.
Why is Go-MCH Different from other non-profits?
There are hundreds of non-profit organizations working to help communities, their nation, or internationally in some way. Some organizations may focus on particular diseases, populations, or regions. Go-MCH is different because of its commitment to low overhead costs, building a network of NGO partnerships that we help expand capacity to improve delivery of critical public health and clinical services, instead of creating new programs in the field. We provide strategic direction, organizational change, and systems modeling using the latest research combined with expert medical and public health guidance. We prioritize cultural and ethnic needs at the community and family level, and constantly look for unique solutions that can be modeled, and/or strengthen capacity of, for impactful outcomes.
Solutions that can last long term are always a top priority. Our goal is not to stay in-country forever and for the population to be dependent on our funding in order to survive and thrive.
Our aim is to improve accessibility, sustainability, and provide long term solutions that can work in the particular community and culture.
Fiscal responsibility is as equally important to the long term success of any program as the staff, program structure, and outcomes.
The impetus for staff to contribute comes from within, and is built through trust in the organization.
Flexibility and ability to adapt quickly is essential for growth and staying ahead of potential pitfalls.
Through a dedicated board of directors, creative solutions are developed through combined multidisciplinary skill sets. Creative solutions are at the heart of the organization’s strength.
Go-MCH is a young organization and therefore also very flexible and able to adapt very quickly to changing situations, including the needs of the program and communities they serve and work towards organizational sustainable business management as well as programs that can provide long-term change.
Women and Girls have access to learning opportunities and computers in solar-powered schools in rural Nepal.
With our NGO partner, Smiles Nepal, we are expanding capacity and awareness of educational needs in the most rural mountainous regions of Nepal.
Literacy is inextricably linked to improved Survival and Health Outcomes for women, children, and families. Every Girl who attends school significantly delays child marriage, improves her own health through literacy and healthy behavior, and improves her chances of raising herself above the poverty level. Each child’s education is an investment in the future of herself, her family, and her country.
However, not all nations see the value in investing in education and the infrastructure that propels education’s impact exponentially. Initiatives such as the United Nations Literacy Decade, spearheaded by UNESCO, started in 2003 and ended in 2012.
What progress has been made and what is the status of child literacy in South Asia? (ref: UN Literacy Decade and the Asia Pacific, progress to date)
Our continued and shared goals:
- Support leadership at all levels of society;
- Support the voice of children’s views and ideas which can allow them to hold decision-makers accountable;
- Mobilize additional resources, particularly government expenditure for the well-being of children;
- Promote partnerships with the private and corporate sector to increase in Investments
- Build on partnerships with Among civil society, NGOs and multi-lateral and bilateral agencies.
Though there are many underlying causes to lack of literacy, the two major underlying causes in South Asia continue to be extreme poverty and gender bias. According to UNESCO:
- Girls only receive 8 years of school while boys receive 10 years.
- 1 in 3 children never are able to attend school
- In rural areas, infrastructural barriers such as safe roads, reliable electricity, and health issues continue to access to education for children and families.
- In Nepali government funded schools, there are 10 teachers for every 1000 students.
Environmentally Sustainable School in Nepal, powered by solar panels:
Identifying and bringing together resources and partners to bridge the gap in need and service delivery through collaboration and reduction of duplication. Through a variety of resources currently being developed such as communications and collaborations tools, we hope that a consortium is developed of like-minded NGOs that are interested in working together for advocacy, coordination, and funding purposes.
Go-MCH is working to build a team of specialists and experts in the field of literacy, education, and health care delivery. Through the use of Scientific Advisory board members and NGO partners, we are aiming to bring capacity and energy to rural areas that have the most need, improving education accessibility to children, women, and families through the use of technology and innovative solutions.
Building Sustainable Solutions:
Go-MCH Partner: “Creating SMILES – building the Nation” (SMILES), is a rural based community development NGO whose main objective is to introduce and implement the combination of technology and socio-economical interventions that may lead to an increased living standard for people in the rural villages of Nepal and provide new resources to catalyze learning and literacy standards.
In September, 2009, solar panels were installed in two pilot different schools in the in Sindhuli district, Nepal. (chart below). In addition, computer labs were built with free support from the community: fathers, uncles, and teenage boys came together to provide the labor needed to build the school computer laboratories.
Once the room was finished, computers were provided. The technology resources provided profound results. Schools had electricity and adult literacy classes were run during the evenings. With these results, Smiles’ possibilities of development in this rural part of the country grew exponentially, and because of the project, people became optimistic toward new opportunities and potential for social, economic, and educational development.
- Binayak Lower Secondary School in the village Kalimati, Jhagajholi Ratamata VDC-5, Sindhuli District
- Chilaunekharka Primary School in Chilaunekharka, Jhagajholi Ratamata VDC-6, Sindhuli
- Shree Krishna Lower Secondary School Virpani-2, Ramechap
- Shree Himalaya Secondary School Sipali-5, Kavrepalanchowk
The SMILES team received positive community feedback and moved forward to the next phase, launched June, 2010. In this phase SMILES focused on providing access to computers, computer education, health and sanitation and solar electrification.
The literacy curriculum provided in the schools is one that is certified by Nepal’s Ministry of Education. The curriculum is added to every computer to enable access to all the students and adults in the community who use the computer lab after school hours. The teachers have a mini-laptop with projector (included in the cost list) to show the students how to use the curriculum, and lead them through the education plan.
Guatemala, located between Mexico to the north and El Salvador and Honduras to the south, is wedged within one of the most vicious drug trafficking trade routes the Americas have ever seen. Violence and corruption have rendered this nation almost into a war zone, where individuals in the city carry large weapons just to walk through the street, guard their businesses with armored vehicles, and vandalize their own cars so they do not draw attention to themselves. There is a strong presence of extreme wealth and poverty throughout the cities and country side, which also exacerbates the nation’s vulnerability to drug trafficking involvement.
Almost 50% of children under five go hungry and face long term health implications such as stunting and wasting due to malnourishment. Mothers are unable to access or develop skills, children attend school but there are very little sources of foods. Farm land is being leased to China and Japan; resources are exported and the nation’s own people do not see any benefit.
Go-MCH is developing a nutrition program that will assist families in accessing nutritious foods long term in sustainable ways. Click here for our most recent blog article. Additionally, the HuffingtonPost recently published an article on Guatemala’s violence, poverty, and ongoing drug trade laced in political corruption.
If you would like to volunteer your time or inquire about partnership opportunities in Guatemala, please email: info@Go-MCH.org. You can also make a tax-deductible donation, we would greatly appreciate extra funds to help buy supplies and educational materials for families, as well as to cover expenses to facilitate communications and outreach.
The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health is governed by the PMNCH Board and its two accompanying committees — the Finance Committee and the Executive Committee. The Board Members represent their constituencies, made up of the full membership of the Partnership, as well as a balance between the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health interest and geographical areas. The Partnership Board has a Chair and two co-Chairs.
During 2009-2011, The Partnership work plan centers on six priority actions where its membership can add value through collaboration and consensus building. Each priority action is led by a Lead Partner accountable to the Partnership Board and supported and facilitated by the PMNCH Secretariat. Each action has a series of milestones – reflecting specific activities, as shown below – which themselves lead to a range of outputs that is expected to deliver a single outcome.
This brochure describes the objectives of The Partnership, the challenges to be tackled and the priority actions set up to reach the objectives: ImprovingMNCH.pdf
The White Ribbon Alliance is an international coalition which pushes for change to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for women and newborns around the world. Since its launch in 1999, the White Ribbon Alliance – now a rapidly growing global movement with members in 152 countries – has been amplifying the voices of women and their communities, and is now a leader among those holding governments and institutions to account for the tragedy of maternal mortality.
The Healthy Newborn Network (HNN) is a partnership of organizations and individual members committed to improving newborn health around the world. HNN was launched in 2010 as an initiative of Save the Children’s Saving Newborn Lives (SNL) Program.
Go-MCH is working on Capacity Building in Maternity Hospitals and
Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) in Lagos, Nigeria.
A woman will probably never be closer to death than at the time she is giving birth.
Go-MCH’s Maternal and Newborn survival program is working to ensure that both mother and child survive through the childbirth process, and beyond so both mother and child can live healthy, successful lives.
Maternal and Newborn survival is a complex, multi-pronged issue involving a variety of health and human resource systems, as well as the social, cultural, and political issues within the nation that the woman and child resides. This is further complicated by the issues that affects a woman’s health status and fetus through the pregnancy.
We are working to help improve community use and trust of healthcare and expand system capacity. Funds will facilitate partnership development and work on issues such as consumables, infrastructure, and human resources.
Individual donations will provide neonatal care to infants to support their survival and maternity care to the mother. We are developing a pilot program in Nigeria, with partners and Scientific Advisory Members in the field. Development of this program is a collaboration between our Scientific Advisory Board, Board of directors, and partners in the field.
Go-MCH works to expand the capacity of programs serving women and children in impoverished communities to save a life and make it last.