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Accelerating Women-centered Local Action and Increasing Impact to Stop Preventable Maternal & Newborn Deaths in Low- and Middle -Income Countries: Case-study in Senegal

There is an urgent need for improvements in maternal and newborn health despite the efforts of numerous stakeholders and the adoption of specific targets as in the Sustainable Development Goals. In 2018, using an evidence-based and design-thinking approach involving communities, three stakeholders (a foundation, an NGO, and a startup) decided to combine their expertise to better understand and potentially revisit the drivers for improving maternal and newborn health. The AIM – Accelerated Impact Model - has been designed as a systemic, needs-led innovation framework for improving maternal and newborn health in low and middle-income countries. The AIM is currently being tested to assess its real-world impact in the Saint-Louis region of Senegal. This paper aims to explain the rationale and methodology for designing this innovative model, as well as presenting hypotheses concerning its impact. This novel, integrated approach is associated with community empowerment and accompanied by “glocal” experts and organizations. It represents the backbone of the AIM method. The first step of the AIM application was the pre-pilot phase, as the population itself identified the health and medical-social barriers contributing to maternal and newborn mortality together with the corresponding corrective measures. The second step integrated co-created projects into a three-pillar program centered on awareness of community engagement, optimizing the attractiveness of the health pyramid base, and the empowerment of women. To test the sustainability of the model, the third step of the AIM approach resulted in the creation of a local pilot team to accelerate the implementation of new co-created projects and optimize existing initiatives supported by local and global sponsors. Over the course of one month, the newly formed “Rawal ak Diam” platform transformed the COVID-19 epidemic into an opportunity to mobilize the community and connect with the authorities. This step was crucial for gaining legitimation for the platform and helped design and implement a three-pillar program. The community program focus here is on the two first deadlines (the decision to request help and access care) in maternal health while remaining aligned with the Sustainable Development Goal of reducing maternal and neonatal mortality in low- and middle-income countries.

Maternal Health, Design Thinking, Ethnography, Community, Empowerment, Evidence Based, Low- and Middle-Income Countries, Determinants of Health

Stephanie Vougier, Jan Liska, Marouchka Hebben, Cheikh Mbaye, Hadi Issa, et al. (2021). Accelerating Women-centered Local Action and Increasing Impact to Stop Preventable Maternal & Newborn Deaths in Low- and Middle -Income Countries: Case-study in Senegal. World Journal of Public Health, 6(4), 155-166.

Copyright © 2021 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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