Integrated Maternal and Child Health and Development
Improving maternal, newborn, and child health and development is central to PATH's mission and work around the world. Our IMCHD program takes a health-systems oriented, multi-sector approach to strengthening the continuum of care for women, children, families, and communities.
As the biomarkers lead for Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), PATH provides technical assistance conducting trainings, overseeing local technicians in carrying out the biomarker analyses, and supporting non-medical staff in collecting the data. In doing so, we emphasize collecting and testing samples in a context-appropriate way, given local technology and resources. PATH oversaw the DHS’s first collection of fasting blood glucose data and is responsible for the other nutrition-related biomarkers, including as hemoglobin, transferrin, vitamin A, and C-Reactive Protein, among others. We have worked to assess the accuracy, reliability, and operational fit of diagnostic tools, including non-invasive and minimally invasive tools for anemia screening, and helped bring such tools to markets and public sector actors, to simplify assessment, reduce biohazard waste, and improve acceptance among patients.
Early Childhood Development
Since 2012, PATH has been at the forefront of a movement to integrate nurturing care for early childhood development services into existing health systems—an important platform to reach children under three in low-resource settings. As a result of PATH’s programs, which prioritize partnership with government, thousands of children now have the opportunity to live fuller and healthier lives.
Of all the known approaches to combat infant mortality, human milk has the greatest potential impact on child survival. Scaling up breastfeeding to a near-universal level could prevent an estimated 823,000 deaths in children under the age of five worldwide every year. PATH, a global leader in newborn care and nutrition, works with leaders to adapt and implement a comprehensive approach to ensure that all babies are fed human milk. Our efforts include strengthening health systems to integrate human milk banking into newborn care, improving technologies for quality control systems, and expanding global advocacy, awareness, and communication.
As a global leader in nutrition innovation, PATH advances evidence-based and data-driven approaches to design, implement, and evaluate interventions that directly and indirectly affect the nutritional status of women, children, adolescents, and vulnerable populations. We provide leadership in nutrition governance, evidence, multisectoral integration, and quality of care, and we apply PATH’s expertise to bring contextualized nutrition-related products to market. PATH now hosts the Global Nutrition Report, the world’s independent assessment of the state of global nutrition, established following the first Nutrition for Growth Summit (N4G) as an accountability mechanism to track progress against global targets and the commitments made to reach them.
Maternal and Newborn Health
In maternal and newborn health, PATH focuses on strengthening the continuum of care for women, children, and families while providing crucial support to enable populations to thrive. PATH has extensive and long-standing experience collaborating and providing technical inputs to partners in global strategies for developing, promoting, and scaling-up newborn health interventions, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics Helping Babies Survive, Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC), management of newborn infections, and the global newborn indicators efforts. More recently, PATH coordinated the development of the roadmap for advancing maternal immunization against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)—one of the most common causes of severe infant respiratory infections worldwide.
Maternal Mental Health
Maternal depression is an important maternal and child health issue that has been linked to inadequate cognitive and language development in infants. PATH is supporting governments and local partners to reinforce maternal mental health interventions in the health sector. Specifically, we are working with our partners to integrate screening and counseling on depression and anxiety into routine maternal and child health services, since these are the services that a woman will access most consistently and frequently during and after pregnancy.
Despite dramatically increased agricultural production and a rising standard of living in many low- and middle-income countries, malnutrition continues to hinder communities. PATH views better nutrition as a key pillar of improved maternal and child health and development. Working with our partners, PATH’s food innovations bring better nutrition to more families and we help leaders integrate nutrition interventions into other health programs. Our advocates keep better nutrition on the global health agenda. We also help communities build the information systems necessary to gather and use data to find, target, and evaluate solutions.