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Contact: Megan Sather, 206.694.0013, megan.sather@gmmb.com.

Seattle, September 20, 2011—A new five-year initiative led by PATH will focus on improving the health and development of young children in two African countries with a goal of reducing infant and child mortality.

PATH, a global health nonprofit, today announced it is launching the Window of Opportunity project to improve critical health and development services for pregnant women and children up to two years old in areas of Mozambique and South Africa. The expanded and improved services will reach 750,000 pregnant women and children in the target areas and is supported by a US$25 million grant from BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities, a charity established by BHP Billiton, a global diversified resources company.

The project will focus on improving antenatal and newborn care, infant nutrition, child development practices, and the quality of health services planning and provision, as well as fostering community engagement with the improved services. To achieve these goals, PATH will work with governmental and civil society partners to strengthen health and development systems, improve the quality and range of clinical and community-based services, and support behaviors among caregivers and communities that positively affect the health and development of young children.

The project, which will operate in one district in Mozambique and four in South Africa, will build on existing policies, structures, programs, and relationships at the national and provincial levels. It will channel resources to build local capacity, strengthen local ownership, and ensure sustainability, helping these countries make progress toward the Millennium Development Goal to reduce child mortality.