ANTANANARIVO – The United States is helping Madagascar fill gaps in health care delivery through a new project that assists the Ministry of Public Health to develop realistic policies, bring services closer to the people who need them, reduce infant and maternal mortality, improve COVID-19 vaccination rates, and reduce preventable childhood deaths.
On December 13, 2022, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) unveiled the MOMENTUM Country and Global Leadership (MCGL) project, an initiative that promises to boost health outcomes in 15 regions of the country.
“The MCGL project will help the Ministry of Public Health develop policies, strategies, and tools to improve government public health programs in Madagascar,” Deputy Health Office Director Dr. Haja Razafindrafito said at the project’s launch ceremony. “Its goal is to complement existing health programs to holistically improve maternal and child health in some of the most underserved areas of the country.”
The project will introduce innovations such as Human Centered Design, an approach to help health officials understand when and where people seek health services and how to reach more children for routine vaccinations. Since 2020, the rate of routine childhood vaccinations has decreased in Madagascar, due in large part to limited access to healthcare in rural areas.
MCGL will also train private health providers on national standards of COVID-19 vaccination administration and increase the number of private facilities authorized to provide vaccines.
MCGL is part of the five-year, $200 million global MOMENTUM initiative to provide technical and capacity building assistance to 19 countries and improve health outcomes for women and children. It is implemented by Jhpiego, a nonprofit international health care NGO affiliated with Johns Hopkins University.
The United States stands side by side with Madagascar like ‘mpirahalahy mianala’ to improve the health and well-being of the Malagasy people. It is the largest bilateral donor to Madagascar’s health sector, allocating more than $440 million since 2015.