Sunday, June 27, 2010

USAID/Russia Collaboration

Russian maternal and child health experts met with USAID to discuss collaborating on key Maternal and Child Health (MCH) issues. Gennadiy Sukhikh, Director of the Kulakov Federal Center for Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Perinatology, met with Scott Radloff, Director of USAID’s Office of Population and Reproductive Health along with other experts from government.

Russian colleagues discussed the innovative uses of technology that USAID and the Kulakov Center are introducing in Russia to improve MCH and how they are using video conferencing to review cases of maternal and infant mortality and “near miss” mortality.

USAID-supported organizations in Russia are also exploring the use of mobile text messaging and other applications of technology to reach pregnant women and new mothers with information about prenatal and neonatal care.

The Russian delegation met with Jonathan Hale, Deputy Assistant Administrator of USAID’s Bureau for Europe and Eurasia, and Dr. Sukhikh and Dr. Radloff jointly met with senior representatives from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, HHS, and the private sector to learn more about “text4baby”.

As explained to the delegation, “text4baby” is a free mobile information service to be used to promote maternal and child health. The service is a program of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB) to provide pregnant women and new moms information that they may need to take care of their health and to give their babies the best possible start in life. Women who sign up for the service are able to text BABY to 511411 to receive free SMS text messages each week timed to their due date of their baby.

An analogous program is being considered in Russia that would be managed by the Healthy Russia Foundation, a Russian non-governmental organization that is also a key implementing partner of USAID projects such as the “Health Russia 2020”.

In addition to the partnership efforts with Russia to specifically improve maternal and child health, USAID also collaborates on projects with the Russian Ministry of Health and Social Development, regional governments, NGOs, and faith-based organizations, along with international agencies such as the World Health Organization and UNAIDS on a number of other health issues.

For more information about USAID’s work in Russia go to