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UNICEF Innovation

Non-pneumatic anti-shock garment (NASG)

Post-partum hemorrhage (PPH) is the leading direct cause of maternal deaths in low-resource settings. NASG is a fit-for-purpose device that can save women’s lives through reducing blood loss and stabilizing the women until treatment is available

© ©UNICEF/H.Kosonen
Midwives and community health workers learning to use NASG in the first UNICEF-led NASG training


Post-partum hemorrhage (PPH) is the leading direct cause of maternal deaths worldwide. It is defined as "a blood loss of 500 ml or more within 24 hours after birth". Every year, PPH leads to more than 130,000 maternal deaths that would be preventable with timely and effective management of the third stage of labor. 99 per cent of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries in settings where bleeding women may be hours away from comprehensive obstetric care. In addition to maternal mortality, PPH is a significant contributor to severe morbidity and long-term disability among women that have given birth. Non-pneumatic anti-shock garment (NASG) is a low-cost intervention that has proven to be effective in reducing the number of preventable deaths and disabilities in situations where medical management of PPH has failed and access to further obstetric care is delayed. WHO recommends the use of NASG "as temporizing measures for post-partum haemorrhage until substantive care is available".

The project

This product innovation project aims to reduce the number of global maternal deaths by lowering barriers to NASG implementation in UNICEF programme countries. To save mothers from preventable deaths, UNICEF works together with other UN agencies and external partners to support NASG introduction to maternal health programming by providing technical resources to facilitate procurement, distribution, and programme implementation. Project activities include:

1) Operational research on total cost of ownership and best practices for systems integration in UNICEF programme countries. Supply Division collaborates with UNICEF country offices that have recently included NASG in their maternal health programming. By analyzing NASG use and logistics through qualitative observational data and logistic information tracking, UNICEF seeks to:

• Understand the total cost of ownership of NASG;
• Identify barriers and facilitators for NASG movement between health system levels;
• Use the data to help countries make evidence-based decisions on PPH intervention selection.

2) Technical guidance on implementation and procurement. UNICEF is developing a technical guidance to support NASG procurement planning and processing as well as a NASG resource package for UNICEF country offices in collaboration with the Safe Motherhood programme. The package includes training and monitoring & evaluation materials, video scripts, and other tools for health programme specialists and practitioners that are using NASG.

3) Awareness raising and demand generation. Supply Division collaborates with UNICEF Programme Division, country offices, and external partners, in raising NASG and PPH treatment awareness to strengthen global efforts in reducing the global maternal mortality rate to less than 70/100,000.

UNICEF programme countries can now procure NASG through Supply Division.

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