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Major Achievements of the Global 'Survive & Thrive' Initiative Guide the Way Forward


Professional associations, implementing organizations, charities and private partners dedicated to improving maternal and newborn health, join forces to provide education and training to save lives. 

Itasca, IL. - Worldwide, more than 300,000 mothers and 8.2 million newborns and children under age 5 die from causes that are preventable and treatable with cost-effective and proven health care interventions.

Survive & Thrive, a global partnership of health-based and humanitarian groups, has sought to provide the tools, education and resources needed to reduce the number of deaths and strengthen maternal, newborn and child health in resource-limited countries.

The public-private partnership, established in 2012 by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), recently issued a 5-year report that documents the successes and strides made through the combined efforts of its members, which include the pediatric, obstetric, and midwifery professional associations, the private sector and civil society. The American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Save the Children, American College of Nurse Midwives, LDS Charities and Jhpiego were among the implementing partners that played an instrumental role in Survive & Thrive.

"The Survive & Thrive Global Development Alliance has been integral in connecting partners to improve newborn and maternal health outcomes around the world," said Dr. Janna Patterson, Senior Vice President, Global Child Health and Life Support at the American Academy of Pediatrics. "The training interventions and resources that have been developed and adapted from the partnerships within this alliance will continue to save lives of mothers and newborns through improved skills among those attending to them during the birth process."

Survive & Thrive was built upon the achievements of another successful health initiative, Helping Babies Breathe (HBB), to address global challenges in newborn resuscitation.

The new report details the accomplishments of Survive & Thrive from 2012-2017, including:

  • The development of an evidence-based transformative training methodology for maternal and newborn care. The Helping Babies Survive and Helping Mothers Survive programs were informed by a rich body of scientific research studies conducted by multiple authors in many countries.

  • The transformation of the global landscape for basic newborn resuscitation, by influencing global policy on newborn resuscitation, shaping the global market for resuscitation devices and stimulating the development of associated innovations and educational materials.

  • Acting as a powerful force for advocacy through the widespread reach of its partners' influence and networks.

  • The mobilization of $120 million in contributions from all partners.

In seven countries (Bangladesh, Cambodia, Colombia, Ethiopia, Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda), governments and partners equipped up to 88 percent of facilities with resuscitation devices and trained up to 75 percent of health providers in neonatal resuscitation.

From 2010 through 2018, Survive & Thrive partners distributed (at cost) 500,000 penguin suctions, 250,000 bag-mask resuscitators, 150,000 simulators, and almost 70,000 sets of print learning materials and free downloadable learning materials to low-resource areas around the world. Global Health Media Project developed more than 90 training videos that have been narrated in 30 languages and have exceeded 90 million views online.

"We are excited about the lessons learned through this alliance, and the momentum we have created to move forward in promoting maternal, newborn, and child health and survival worldwide," said Lily Kak, Team Lead for Newborn Health at the US Agency for International Development. "The educational materials created by this effort will provide transformative training methodology, strengthen health provider competencies, and address the health needs of new mothers, newborns and children for years to come."

The partners who formed Survive & Thrive are:

United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

American Academy of Pediatrics

American College of Nurse-Midwives

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Laerdal Global Health

Save the Children

LDS Charities

Johnson & Johnson


Global Health Media Project

Project Cure

Sigma Theta Tau

International Pediatric Associations

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

American Heart Association

University Research Co. LLC (URC)

Maternal and Child Survival Program (USAID Implementing Partner)

Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (USAID Implementing Partner).


The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds