January 17, 2019
Seamlessly ensuring healthcare for mothers and babies, from pregnancy to birth, and from newborn to infant, is crucial as the foundation of lifelong health aimed at achievement of Goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): "Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages." In 2011, the Japanese government advocated the "Ensure Mothers and Babies Regular Access to Care (EMBRACE)" model, and since then has worked to promote a Continuum of Care (CoC) for mothers and children.
The JICA Research Institute (JICA-RI) has conducted research with the University of Tokyo, the Ghana Health Service (GHS), the JICA Human Development Department and the JICA Ghana Office, aiming to develop an effective assistance package (activities) for achieving a CoC for mothers and children and verify scientific evidence, through embodying the EMBRACE model. We have continued conducting EMBRACE implementation research since 2012.
The Osaka International Cancer Institute's Researcher Sumiyo Okawa (former project researcher at the University of Tokyo) was the first author of "High Incidence of Neonatal Danger Signs and Its Implications for Postnatal Care in Ghana: A Cross-Sectional Study," a related paper based on an analysis of current circumstances conducted to examine the assistance packages of this research. She received the Encouragement Prize from the Japan Association for International Health in 2018 at a commemorative lecture given on Dec. 1, 2018 at the 33rd Annual Meeting of the Japan Association for International Health held on Dec. 1 and 2.