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School & Program Updates

School & Program Updates

GW: Partners with Save The Children on Family Planning Project

The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH) has partnered with Save the Children on Connect, an initiative that aims to increase the use of postpartum family planning by young, first-time parents in Bangladesh and Tanzania.

Drs. Sarah Baird, Wolfgang Munar and Jennifer Muz all faculty at the Milken Institute SPH’s department of global health, will help carry out the 4.5-year project, which is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Save the Children leads the project and will build on two existing programs in Bangladesh and Tanzania to leverage their reach of first-time parents at scale. Milken Institute SPH serves as the research and evaluation partner for the project, leading the quantitative evaluation and contributing to the qualitative evaluation.

“Evidence suggests that first-time mothers may be a key demographic to target in order to increase contraceptive uptake and lengthen birth spacing, improving the health of both mothers and babies,” said Dr. Baird, an associate professor of global health at Milken Institute SPH and lead researcher at GW for the Connect project.

Over 13 million girls aged 15 to 19 give birth in low- and middle-income countries each year, according to the Guttmacher Institute, with many of these younger mothers under familial and societal pressure to have a second child rapidly. Young mothers who have a second child rapidly can suffer complications during pregnancy and childbirth, and their children may also experience adverse health outcomes.

The Connect team will use the interventions developed in Bangladesh and Tanzania as models for other countries.

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