50,000 Happy Birthdays was built upon previous successful global initiatives to improve maternal and newborn health.
The Survive & Thrive Global Development Alliance presents the impact Helping Mothers Survive (HMS) and Helping Babies Survive (HBS) educational programs have had in the last decade.
As part of the efforts of Survive & Thrive, the 10,000 Happy Birthdays project was conducted in Malawi and Zambia in 2014-2016. This project, coordinated by ICM, increased the capacity of 10,000 midwives to save more lives at birth.
The key findings of Survive & Thrive informed the design of the 50,000 Happy Birthdays project. To increase the impact and sustainability, the project placed a stronger focus on:
- Building capacities of professional associations
- Combining in-service and pre-service training
- Supporting the Low Dose High Frequency method of training
- Training midwives together with other health professionals
In September 2017, ICM and Laerdal Global Health sent out a call for national Midwives’ Associations to submit proposals to be considered for the project. An overwhelming 27 proposals were received and of those, three were chosen.
Shortly after Caroline Makoko gave birth to her son, she experienced profuse bleeding which threatened her life. Her midwives at the Chilomoni Health Center in Malawi had been trained in the Helping Mothers Survive program through 10,000 Happy Birthdays. They saved Caroline’s life and one less baby lost their mother.
Call for proposals, assess the capacity of the Midwives’ Associations —Ethiopia, Rwanda and Tanzania are chosen
Order and receive training materials in each country
Master training of trainers in country
Kick off the cascade training in the Helping Mothers Survive and Helping Babies Survive educational programs. Field visits from international supporting partners
Training roll-out and continuous support
Monitoring and evaluation, and virtual support from ICM to the Midwives’ Associations
Finalizing the project
Endline evaluation, administravite closeout, and reporting