We focus on improving the quality of facility-based care of pregnant women and their newborns and young children. Our research aims to determine where and how care can improve during the most critical period of labor, delivery and immediate postpartum. We also work to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and to improve nutrition for pregnant women.


African Health Markets for Equity

African Health Markets for Equity (AHME) uses National Health Insurance (NHI) to link quality private healthcare providers with low-income clients in Kenya and Ghana. Interventions at the clinical level aim to ensure business acumen among private providers, high quality of care focusing on reproductive and child health, and NHI accreditation.

East Africa Preterm Birth Initiative

The East Africa Preterm Birth Initiative (PTBi-EA) works to reduce the number of preterm births and save the lives of preterm infants and their mothers, by improving quality of care and engaging in discovery research in regions of Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.

Global Action in Nursing

The Global Action in Nursing (GAIN) project aims to reduce preventable maternal and infant death during childbirth by providing clinical and leadership training to nurse-midwives in high-risk communities. The GAIN project partners with communities to equip nurses with the expertise and skills they need to save lives.

HEARD Project

As a core partner of the USAID-funded Health Evaluation and Applied Research Development (HEARD) Project, UCSF conducts multidisciplinary applied and implementation research and related activities to accelerate the research-to-use process related to high priority interventions to help end preventable child and maternal death.

Preconception Nutrition and Gender Equality

Researchers are working with newly married women in rural Nepal before they become pregnant to develop a household-level intervention aiming to improve women’s status in their household, access to nutrition, health care utilization, and ultimately, maternal and child health.

PRONTO Birth Simulation Training

UCSF works through PRONTO International in Guatemala to provide birth simulation training for interprofessional providers, to help reduce maternal and perinatal mortality and address disrespectful and culturally inappropriate care during labor and delivery.

Quality Improvement

UCSF works in Bihar, India with PRONTO International and CARE India on a large quality improvement initiative for maternal and newborn health outcomes in government facilities, by developing modular curricula and integrating obstetric and neonatal simulations and team training to improve provider skills.

Safe Motherhood Program

The Safe Motherhood Program is a research group that aims to prevent maternal deaths by promoting women’s health and human rights through conducting research, linking research to policy and implementation, training clinicians in low-resource settings, and disseminating information and innovations globally.

Tiny Hats for Tiny Babies

Tiny Hats for Tiny Babies™ is a global campaign to raise awareness about neonatal mortality and to provide handmade hats to newborns in countries where resources are low and need is high.

Virtual Mentor

Virtual Mentor is an interactive, voice-controlled smart speaker that is being developed and tested to guide birth attendants through complicated or emergency procedures.

Saving Lives at Birth

This video from Global Health Frontiers, which aired nationwide on PBS, features our PRONTO Birth Simulation Training program in Guatemala, which deploys professional midwives and trains clinic providers to link wary communities with better obstetric care.