Best Corporate-Community Partnership

Getting face to face with program beneficiaries key to saving lives

Facility renovations, immunizations, and other tactics result in safer childbirth.

Covance-CARE Nepal Saving Mothers’ and Infants’ Lives (SMILE) in Nepal- Logo

Reducing the heartbreaking incidence of women and babies who die in childbirth in some of Nepal’s most impoverished districts required a multifaceted program, one that was so well planned and executed that it has earned Covance—a drug development services company—our recognition for Best Corporate-Community Partnership in PR Daily’s 2014 Corporate Social Responsibility Awards. 

Partnering with CARE Nepal, the organization set a lofty objective of improving the quality of pregnancy and delivery care services while raising community awareness of maternal health issues and strengthening the health systems—from governance to advocacy—to have an impact on the 1-in-31 lifetime chance women have of dying in childbirth. Local birthing centers were renovated, health facility operations were monitored and opportunities for improvement identified, and other steps were taken to improve the quality of and access to care. 

But the standout component of this campaign was face to face, with the organizations assembling mothers’ groups led by community health volunteers, and engaging mothers-in-law, who make family decisions in the Nepalese culture, by having them attend information meetings on pregnancy risks and encouraging them to take advantage of local health workers. 

Supported by a radio campaign and other awareness-raising tactics, the partnership held meetings for nearly 400 mothers’ groups in two of Nepal’s most impoverished cities. They also conducted training programs for health volunteers, conducted nearly 100 meetings between mothers and mothers-in-law (reaching more than 2,500 people), renovated five birthing centers, and held refresher training for health facility representatives … and this just scratches the surface of the efforts. 

We offer our heartfelt congratulations to Melissa Thompson for this worthy and impressive effort.

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