Integrated Family Health Initiative: Catalysing change for healthy communities

Publication Date: 20130515

Recent trends in the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR), nutritional status, immunization and family planning, as highlighted in Figure 1, 2, 3 and 4, indicate that there are substantial gaps in achieving related MDG goals 4 and 5.

Despite recent gains and commitments from the Government of Bihar (GoB) and active leadership of key stakeholders to improve health infrastructure and outcomes, deep-rooted problems limit the government’s ability to affect lasting change. Persistent barriers include poor quality and availability of frontline and primary health center level services and staff, limited access to services by neglected and marginalized populations, lack of accurate data, lack of effective program management, weak training systems, absence of supervision in health facilities, poor functional integration of interventions, inadequate public health infrastructures, and an underdeveloped and unregulated private sector.

With support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Integrated Family Health Initiative (IFHI) program seeks to support the GoB to improve family health outcomes statewide as well as build their leadership and ownership towards these services. Ultimately this is to accelerate the progress toward MDG 4 to reduce child mortality and MDG 5 to improve maternal health. [12 pages]

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