Baylor College of Medicine
Children’s Foundation - Uganda

Saving Mothers Giving Life (SMGL) 2012-2018

Since 2012 to date, Baylor Foundation Uganda has been supporting reproductive, maternal, and newborn health (RMNH) activities. These efforts have contributed to the reduction of maternal and neonatal conditions and deaths in its 17 supported districts.

With its maiden funds from CDC, USAID, and the ELMA Foundation, the Baylor Foundation Uganda implemented the Saving Mothers Giving Life (SMGL) project in Kabarole, Kamwenge, and Kyenjojo districts between 2012 and 2018. The SMGL project aimed to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality rates by 50% and 30%, respectively.

The project utilized a district-wide health system strengthening approach to implement interventions focusing on the period during labor, delivery, and the first 48 hours after birth. The first 48 hours of birth account for two in three maternal deaths and 45% of all newborn deaths in Uganda.

The SMGL project implemented the following interventions:

  • Demand creation using opinion leaders, VHTs, and local mass media;
  • Increasing access to maternal and newborn care services by providing community transport vouchers and establishing an ambulance referral system between health facilities,
  • Improving the quality of maternal and newborn services through infrastructural upgrades, critical human resources recruitment, retention, and skills building, and provision of ‘demand stock’;
  • Health systems strengthening through technical supervision and data-driven performance review/planning meetings and
  • Strengthening monitoring and evaluation systems for health facility and community surveillance for maternal and newborn services utilization.

Project Achievements:

In 2022, Baylor Foundation-Uganda, utilizing on-site mentorships, built the capacity of 516 health workers from 96 health facilities to provide quality comprehensive and basic emergency obstetric and neonatal services (CEmONC/BEmONC) in Rwenzori and Bunyoro regions. We conducted the capacity-building activities with support from the Ministry of Health Uganda Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health Services Improvement Project (URMCHIP), and with the technical support of five health professional associations, including obstetricians, pediatricians, anesthetists, and midwives and nurses.

By December 2023, with ELMA funding (2022-25), BFU had refurbished and equipped 2 NCUs at Kyangwali HC IV and Buliisa hospital, conducted onsite mentorship to 28 sites to ensure skills for quality CEmONC services, reached over 31,796 women and 8,651 babies in hard-to-reach communities with integrated outreach services (ANC, PNC, FP, including immunization and HIV testing). 140 mothers and 32 babies/children have also been supported with ambulance referral services to the next level for further care. We have also trained 1,220 volunteer community workers (commonly referred to as village health team members) for health promotion and disease and mortality surveillance through home visits.



Program Areas


Area of Operations

Kabarole, Kamwenge, and Kyenjojo districts