Elsewhere online
October 22, 2015

Gates and Slim Funds Step Up Mesoamerica Health Effort

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carlos Slim Foundation are preparing to launch the second phase of a cooperative, $170-million effort to improve newborn and maternal health in Mexico and Central America, Reuters writes.

The Salud Mesoamerica program, also supported by Spain, the Inter-American Development Bank, and local governments in the targeted countries, aims to use big data and mobile technology to stop easily preventable deaths of mothers and babies in the poorest parts of the region.

Surveys conducted as part of the initiative showed malnutrition and lack of access to health services are as bad in pockets of Central America as in the poorest parts of Africa. Tapping into an aid trend, Salud Mesoamerica uses independently collected data to measure local achievements in prenatal care, with funding conditional on the results.