Initiative to Identify and Accelerate High-Impact Interventions to Solve Maternal and Child Health Challenges

Situational Analysis:

Each year, 289,000 women die while giving birth. Each day, nearly 18,000 children die from mostly preventable causes. However, developments in science, technology, and health delivery are making what was unthinkable just a few years ago imaginable today. The PATH-led Innovation Countdown 2030 initiative’s inaugural report, Reimagining Global Health, highlights 30 lifesaving innovations expected to accelerate progress over the next 15 years so the UN sustainable development goals can be achieved. The primary goal of the IC2030 report is to accelerate progress by prioritizing the most promising new vaccines, diagnostics, or other innovations and by expanding access to existing interventions and tools that have already proven themselves effective and affordable. In partnership with PATH, SDG’s global health arm Applied Strategies provided health impact modeling on approximately 10 of the 30 highlighted innovations.

Discovery & Solutions:

Through a multidisciplinary survey, PATH gathered global health innovations from experts in technology, investment, the nonprofit sector, academia, and government. The innovation list was then narrowed down using a qualitative assessment based on their accessibility, scalability, stage of development, expected performance compared to existing solutions, potential health impact, and number of nominations. SDG’s global health team then conducted quantitative analyses on a smaller subset of interventions to better understand the potential impact of a particular innovation on the sustainable development goals. Working closely with PATH, we developed a quantitative methodology that models the uptake and cost associated with procuring and delivering a new innovation, including the impact on downstream costs and treatment costs that may be averted compared to the current standard of care. We then estimated the potential incremental lives saved and additional life-years gained from introducing the innovation. Sensitivity and scenario analyses were performed in cases where there was a high level of uncertainty. Feedback on the model methodology and approach, as well as the outputs was vetted with external advisors. The innovations analyzed included new water treatment tools, a drug to prevent newborn infection, simple and safe device for assisted delivery to protect the mother and child at birth; kangaroo mother care, new neonatal resuscitator, devices to improve diagnosis and treatment of pneumonia, among others.

Results & Impact:

Each innovation analyzed has a potential to save 150,000 to 1.5 million lives by 2030. Innovations like new formulation oxytocin and low-cost uterine balloon tamponade could reduce maternal deaths due to post-partum hemorrhage by 12 percent, while interventions like water treatment and low cost antiseptic could reduce under-5 mortality by over 6 percent. The quantitative model methodology could be expanded to include other health and economic value measures, providing a common framework to assess the potential impact of innovations in other SDG health areas. For more details on the list of innovations, methods, and results please access the IC2030 report via this link.