NEWBORN HEALTH: NEST360 secures eight-figure global funding for next stage
On January 23, 2024, the Newborn Essential Solutions and Technologies (NEST360) program, a global initiative aimed at enhancing newborn care and survival across sub-Saharan Africa, announced the commencement of its second phase. A substantial $65 million has been secured to fuel the initiative over the next five years.
The official announcement took place at Rice University, Texas, United States of America, attended by NEST360’s leadership panel comprising representatives from Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, and Nigeria including Dr. Nahya Salim, Clinical Pediatric Specialist at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Science, Tanzania who spoke at the event. Watch the video here.
According to the NEST360 website, it was stated, “This second, five year phase of the initiative will build upon the progress achieved in Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, and Nigeria during the initial phase (2019-2023), where the alliance, in partnership with the countries’ governments, improved the quality of care for about 100,000 babies admitted each year to the 67 hospitals implementing NEST360."
The funding comes from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, The ELMA Foundation, and generous individual contributions.
An international alliance for improved newborn care
NEST360 is spearheaded by a diverse international alliance comprising nurses, doctors, engineers, global health experts, and entrepreneurs, and is set to impact small and sick newborn care through its collaborative, data-driven approach in translating global sustainability goals into tangible real-world change, as per the statement.
NEST360 in Tanzania
Implemented in Tanzania by the Ifakara Health Institute and partners, NEST360 is a global consortium dedicated to reducing newborn deaths by 50% in hospitals, with current operations in Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi, and Nigeria.
The program serves as an evidence-based model for sustainable health system change, addressing gaps in technology, markets, and human resources for the nationwide implementation of quality hospital-based newborn care.
In Tanzania, the NEST program collaborates closely with the Ministry of Health to enhance the quality of comprehensive newborn care units, aligning with the National guidelines for neonatal care and the establishment of neonatal care units.
Phase I of the program commenced in late 2019 in three tertiary hospitals: Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH Upanga), Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH Mloganzila), and Mbeya Zonal Referral Hospital. Implementation at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) began in February 2022. The three regional referral hospitals in Dar es Salaam, namely Mwananyamala, Amana, and Temeke, initiated implementation in 2020. The tertiary hospitals serve as 'learning hubs,' ensuring mentorship and supportive supervision within the selected regions.