© 2003 Dibyendu Dey Choudhury, Courtesy of Photoshare



Spacing of births can prevent up to 25% of maternal deaths
A near 30% increase in contraception can reduce infant mortality by 50%
Focus on ‘fertility’ can have a greater impact for improved maternal, neonatal and child health outcomes.

Reproductive Health is one of the core components of the RMNCH+A strategy and is closely linked with maternal and child mortality.

VRIDDHI aims to strengthen the delivery points with a focus on Post-Partum Family Planning within the framework of Family Planning 2020. The project aids to set up systems and processes that facilitate access to quality family planning services as per client choice. Counselors utilize every opportunity to reach out increased number of women and their spouse with quality interpersonal contacts to provide information and counseling on family planning.


Maternal Health India has made impressive progress in reducing maternal mortality over the past two decades. Despite this around 44,000 women still die each year as a result of pregnancy and childbirth.The RMNCH+A approach to improving maternal health describes the most essential health preventive, promotive and curative interventions and packages of services across various life stages which when delivered to scale will provide maximum gains in terms of saving lives.

The Preventive, Promotive and Curative interventions through the RMNCH+A approach to improving maternal health describes the most essential packages of healthcare services across various life stages which when delivered at scale can provide maximum gains in terms of saving lives.

VRIDDHI supports the implementation of the identified high impact RMNCH+A interventions across the life cycle and at different stages of health systems. With a particular focus on strengthening of delivery points for provision of care during the critical intra-partum and immediate postpartum period, the Project will take a systematic and structured approach to improve both scale and quality of services.


India’s Neonatal Mortality Rate (NMR) has recorded a significant decline from 52 in 1990 to 28 in 2013 (SRS,2013) About 0.76 million neonates still die in India every year, the highest for any country in the world

With India targeting to reduce neonatal mortality to less than 10 per 1,000 live births by the year 2030 as per ‘India Newborn Action Plan’ launched in 2014, there is a need to accelerate and step up all efforts to achieve these numbers.

With an aim to fulfil the country’s targets and guided by WHO’s vision for Quality of Care for pregnant women and newborns, VRIDDHI under its Care around Birth approach focuses on interventions related to perinatal care, preterm births, low birth weight newborns and sepsis. In addition, recognizing that the wellbeing of a newborn depends largely on the health of the mother, the strategy has given adequate importance to the continuum of care that spans pre-conception, pregnancy, childhood and adolescence for total care.


The share of children (0-6 years) accounts for nearly 13% of the total population in the Country (Census 2011)

An estimated 12.7 lakh children die every year before completing 5 years of age. However, 81% of under-five child morality takes place within one year of the birth which accounts nearly 10.5 lakh infant deaths.

VRIDDHI targets to address the major drivers of mortality among children aged up to 5 years and focuses on diarrhea and pneumonia management through activities such as facility level availability of ORS, zinc and essential antibiotics for its treatment. The private sector will also be involved to improve the utilization of ORS and zinc, and the reach and use of the same would further be improved through innovative approaches like coming up with grand challenges.


At 253 million, India has the major share of the adolescent population in the world and accounts for 21% of India’s population

The international community is increasingly recognizing the importance of young people, the largest generation ever. With a view to address the health and development needs of this age group, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched the Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) in January 2014 that focusses on health promotion and community based approach.

VRIDDHI endeavors to strengthen the adolescent health component of the RMNCH+A strategy through:

  • Strengthening Adolescent and Friendly Health Clinics (AFHCs): The project supports the strengthening of 76 AFHCs across 26 high priority districts in 6 states of India through capacity building of health-care providers namely the doctors, counselors and ANMs in adolescent health care.
  • Improved Clinic and Community based Counseling: To address counseling deficiencies, the project endeavours to pick the best from the RKSK IEC material repository comprising of posters, leaflets, flip books, TVC sorted thematically developed by national and state governments, other development partners and NGOs.
  • Development of an Implementation Model for weekly Iron and Folic Acid Supplementation (WIFS) Program for adolescents: The project has initiated a rapid appraisal of the WIFS program in two states of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to identify bottlenecks and operational challenges in taking the program to scale. Based on the findings, the project provides strategic technical support to address the key operational challenges.

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Local context is key. USAID’s Vision for Health Systems Strengthening presents an integrated, comprehensive, and holistic approach to improve health systems at the country level, including national, sub-national, district and community levels. Dealing with the formidable challenge of maternal and child mortality requires strong locally relevant health systems which can effectively address the existing and emerging epidemiological challenges in this group.

VRIDDHI aims to contribute to the strengthening health systems in the country through:

  • Capacity building, training and mentoring of service providers.
  • Generating and Sharing of evidence for informed decision making.
  • Advocating and Supporting reorganization of institutional processes leading to better service delivery.
  • Improved access and increased utilization of RMNCH+A services nationally and in the USAID focus states of India.
  • Support for improved health system to ensure health equity in a responsive manner so as to make an optimal use of available resources.

Given the large mandate under RMNCH+A, VRIDDHI aims to improve advocacy to increase government transparency and accountability. For a greater impact in the identified High Priority Districts, the project will look at carrying out advocacy efforts at the policy level to bring in new interventions.

The Project shares assessments and experience of incubating proven good practices with policy/program managers through advocacy/learning platforms to enable informed decision making. The Project will not only help initiate policy dialogue for newer emerging evidence but also create an enabling policy environment at national and state levels.

Leveraging on partnerships to support countries’ efforts to create efficient, inclusive, and sustainable health systems can accelerate progress and build strong community-based service health care delivery systems.

To support decentralization of governance and health systems delivery, USAID is strengthening inclusive, data-driven partnerships among governments, non-state actors (civil society, private sector), and communities. Though the onus to ensure equitable access to health care at affordable prices is with the governments, the Public-Private partnership would catalyze private philanthropy; energize corporate social responsibility; lead to shared value creation through blended investment approaches to meet inclusive and beneficial health outcomes; provide more number of facilities, medical equipment or supplies of healthcare services across the spectrum of care. These partnerships will thus help institutionalize and scale up viable community health platforms to support an expanding continuum of care to end preventable child and maternal deaths. 1

VRIDDHI has formed partnerships to achieve synergies and consensus on common issues. It continues to work closely with development partners such as BMGF, UNICEF, UNFPA and NIPI to ensure effective implementation of the RMNCH+A supportive supervision processes in the country’s High Priority Districts. In addition the Project team has also established partnership with other USAID funded projects working within the RMNCH+A spectrum which includes Helping Babies Survive (HBS), India Program, USAIDASSIST and the Every Preemie Scale Project.