Global Health Projects: India

Maternal and Neonatal Directed Assessment of Technology (MANDATE) (2009−2011)


Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


Global maternal and neonatal mortality rates are unacceptably high. More than 98% of these deaths occur in low-resource settings. Strategies to reduce maternal and neonatal deaths need to incorporate improved access to appropriate diagnostic, curative and preventive interventions, especially in home and community settings, where over half of the more than 60 million births per year occur.

Foundations, governments and the global health community plan to invest in the development of new or adapted technologies to reduce maternal, fetal, and neonatal deaths in low-resource settings.

Optimal allocation of resources requires an understanding of the impact a potential technology could have on saving lives in each of these settings.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is providing support to RTI International to create a framework that will enable the global community to approximate and compare the potential of a portfolio of maternal and neonatal technologies to save lives in low-resource settings. This initiative, entitled Maternal and Neonatal Directed Assessment of Technology (MANDATE), will create a model that will have broad appeal to inventors, investors, donors, and researchers aspiring to use technology to maximize maternal and neonatal lives saved.

Team members include RTI economists, epidemiologists, and engineers, as well as consultants and subcontractors, including Dr. Robert Goldenberg, an obstetrician with broad clinical and research experience in low-resource settings; Dr. Alan Jobe, a neonatologist with extensive research experience in newborn health; and Applied Strategies, a company with broad experience developing computational models for global health applications. MANDATE will utilize the input from key frontline practitioners in India and sub-Saharan Africa.

Assessment and prioritization of the technology needs will inform the global evidence base on options for investment in the discovery and development of appropriate technologies for mothers and newborns in low-resource settings. MANDATE's overarching goal is to produce an interactive, computer-based, quantitative model that compares the potential number of lives saved across maternal and neonatal technologies. Users will be able to identify and isolate the potential impact of a technology by patient category, region, country, and setting. The tool will be available for public use free of charge.

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