Women's, Children's, and Adolescents' Health

With a current footprint in more than 20 countries and experience in well over a hundred more, MSH strengthens national health institutions and local organizations to take the lead in understanding and prioritizing their reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health challenges; funding and delivering solutions; measuring impact; adapting to experience; and scaling up successes. 

We work with local partners and communities to strengthen skills, policies, and practices that bring lasting change in the availability and quality of health services and actively engage women, children, and adolescents in the design and implementation of culturally respectful interventions that meet their needs and improve their health.


MSH leads ambitious, complex USAID-supported integrated health projects that work at all levels of the health system to improve the acceptability, quality, availability, and affordability of women’s, adolescents’, and child health services. These programs cover one-third of the population in Benin, half the people of Malawi, and nearly two-thirds of the total population of Madagascar.

In Democratic Republic of the Congo, under two integrated health projects over eight years, MSH improved the availability of essential services for nearly 12 million women, adolescents, and children; increased utilization of health facility services from 36% to 46% in five years; and improved the average quality score among supported facilities from 33% to 62%. In Madagascar, we helped double the number of health centers providing basic emergency obstetric and newborn services in just one year. 

In Afghanistan, MSH collaborated with the Ministry of Public Health to develop and implement the basic package of health services (BPHS) and essential package of hospital services (EPHS), which increased access to health services to 7.5 million Afghans. The implementation of these packages has been largely responsible for the dramatic reduction in maternal and child mortality that has occurred in Afghanistan since 2002. 

In Rwanda, MSH helped health authorities develop national standards for service quality, measure the performance of all 43 public hospitals against those standards, and offer accreditation to those facilities meeting them, which increased average quality and safety scores from 36% to 82% between 2014 and 2019. By supporting improved management of the national system of community-based health insurance, we helped to reduce the number of informal workers who can’t access health care due to financial barriers by nearly 40%.

In Angola, MSH builds the skills of local civil society organizations and peer educators to empower sex workers as leaders in HIV care and to help them fight discrimination and violence—efforts that reached more than 15,000 people in one year. 

In Mali, MSH supports local leaders to become advocates for the health and rights of women and girls, mobilize fellow citizens to end female genital mutilation and child marriage, and break traditions of silence toward widespread sexual and gender-based violence.

In Nigeria, MSH reached 11,000 female caregivers and more than 10,000 young girls with information on assertiveness, self-esteem, and prevention of sexually transmitted infections. Across many countries, our signature leadership, management, and governance approaches have strengthened gender-transformative supportive supervision, addressing barriers to mobility and professional development in the health workforce, particularly for women. 

MSH’s innovative accredited drug dispensing outlet (ADDO) model improves access to, and demand for, quality medicines and services—such as family planning and essential medicines to manage common childhood illnesses —through private drug shops. First piloted in Tanzania, the model has been adopted nationally, sustained without donor aid, and now includes more than 11,500 drug shops across the country—mainly run by women—that provide regulated, high-quality products and services. Building on this success, this MSH approach has helped improve access to affordable, quality medicines and services, including reproductive health supplies, in Bangladesh, Uganda, Liberia, Zambia, and Nigeria.

Related Content:

MSH's Capabilities and Experience in Maternal and Child Health and Family Planning

Health Systems Strengthening: Stronger Health Systems, Healthier Families and Communities


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