Scaling the Non-pneumatic Anti-Shock Garmet in Timor-Leste

$400,000 | Stage 2: Testing at Scale | Global Health

USAID’s Health Improvement Project | Timor-Leste


Timor-Leste has one of the highest maternal mortality ratios in the South East Asia and Pacific region—557 deaths per 100,000 live births. Post-partum hemorrhage causes nearly 50 percent of maternal deaths. Due to delays in identifying hemorrhage, reaching health care facilities among rural terrain, and receiving necessary care, such as a blood transfusion or surgery, many Timorese women die before receiving life-saving treatment.

At the request of the Ministry of Health (MOH), USAID’s Health Improvement Project (HIP) supported the introduction of the innovative Non-pneumatic Anti-Shock Garment (NASG)—a low technology first-aid device that can slow excessive bleeding and stabilize a mother with post-partum hemorrhage until she reaches a health facility or appropriate treatment—to save mother’s lives. NASG is one of ten innovations recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations General Secretary in “Breakthrough innovations that can save women and children now”.

Since the NASG was distributed to selected health facilities in targeted municipalities last October, the device has been used to save the lives of 11 women suffering from post-partum hemorrhage. Based on studies conducted in Egypt and Nigeria, the introduction of the NASG in Timor-Leste has the potential to reduce maternal mortality due to post-partum hemorrhage by 45 percent.

USAID’s HIP is working with the MOH and the National Health Institute to institutionalize the use of the NASG. Training for health personnel working in rural community health centers and remote health posts as well as staff responsible for cleaning the garment is underway; and health workers are learning how to incorporate the NASG as an add-on component to existing MOH safe motherhood and emergency obstetric care trainings. In addition, ongoing capacity-building and supportive supervision will ensure that competency standards are maintained among trained health personnel. 

Due to the potential of this life-saving device, Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) awarded $400,000 to support scale-up. These funds are being used to procure more NASG kits and finance associated technical assistance for their use. DIV’s new funding is allowing HIP to assist the MOH in the rollout of this life-saving device to additional municipalities, thereby saving mother’s lives in some of Timor-Leste’s most remote communities.

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