To offer stronger support to mothers and their newborns, PATH launched the Sure Start project in 2006 and began connecting with grassroots organizations in two
Indian states, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. Designed to complement the Government of India’s commitment to improving maternal and newborn health, the project promotes integrated attention to both maternal and newborn health and supports the expansion of promising approaches.
The project has two linked objectives. First, it works to significantly increase
individual, household, and community action that directly and indirectly
improves maternal and newborn health. Second, it focuses on enhancing
systems and institutional capabilities for sustained improvement in maternal and
newborn care and health status.
The Sure Start team pursues these objectives by increasing the demand for care, facilitating the development of community systems, and emphasizing messages that improve lifesaving behavior at the household level. For example, to encourage women to request skilled birth attendants or deliver their infants at medical facilities, the project emphasizes birth preparedness, safe home delivery, and recognition of danger signs that warrant professional care.