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Tamil Nadu Health Minister Dr C Vijayabaskar graced the leaders’ dialogue amongst key healthcare leaders and professionals from Singapore and Tamil Nadu, discussing key learnings and experiences gained from the three-year Enhancing Maternal and Child Health Services Programme.

A three-year initiativecomes to a fruitful close– with better carefor over 100,000 pregnant mothers and newborns across the Indian State

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Chennai, India, 23rd February 2018– Healthcare leaders and specialists across Tamil Nadu and Singapore marked the successful conclusion of a three-year collaboration between the two countrieson antenatal and child healthcare in Tamil Nadu. To conclude the programme, both sides came together for a Leader’s Dialogue to share theirexperiences and learnings over the past three years, at the Tamil Nadu Government Multi Super Specialty Hospital.

The Enhancing Maternal and Child Health Services (EMCH) Programmeis a three-year specialist programme implemented by the Singapore International Foundation (SIF)in partnership with the Department of Health and Family Welfare(DH&FW),Government of Tamil Nadu, Temasek Foundation International(TFI) and SingHealth.

Since 2015, healthcare professionals from Singapore have worked with their counterparts in three districts in Tamil Nadu – Tiruchirappalli, Kanchipuram, and Pudukkottai – to train local healthcare professionals in government healthcare institutions in Tamil Nadu to reduce infant mortality rates(IMR) and maternity mortality rates (MMR). Tamil Nadu is one of the leading states in India with an IMR of 17 against the national average of 34 and an MMR of 67 per 100,000 births.The EMCH Programme has helped augment the government’s efforts to tackle preventable causes of both infant and maternal deaths, with the aim of attaining a single digit IMR and ensuring safer pregnancies for more women. These efforts also contribute towards achieving the larger UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 of Good Health and Well-Being.(Please refer to the project factsheet for more information on the project.)

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“Having a baby is asignificant phase in a woman’s life and this State Government is committed to ensure that every mother should have access to quality Antenatal Services and safe confinement on par with International standards,” said Dr C. Vijayabasker, Honourable Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Tamil Nadu.

More than 1,000 doctors, nurses and public health leaders and officials from Tamil Nadu have participated in the three-year EMCH Programme.Through pedagogy workshops, management training, dialogue sessions, symposia and a study visit to Singapore just last week, the participantshad the chance to share their knowledge and experience with their counterparts from Singapore, with all parties gaining valuable insights and perspectives from the learning exchange. Among the trained pool of healthcare practitioners, 50 Master Trainers were identified and received additional training on how to cascade their knowledge to their peers in the industry.

As part of the EMCH Programme, a multi-disciplinary team of 26healthcare professionals,includingobstetricians, gynaecologists, midwives, emergency paediatricians, neonatologists and allied healthcare professionalsfrom KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) in Singapore,shared their expertise on CORE (Combined Obstetric Resuscitations and Emergencies Training) for better management of high risk pregnancies arising from postpartum hemorrhage, eclampsia and sepsis.

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Mr Jaryll Chan, SIF’s Director of Programmessaid, “At the SIF, we believe in leveraging our strengths and learning from one another to enhance the effectiveness of our programmesthatenrich lives and effect positive change. I am heartened that this collaboration between the Singapore and Tamil Nadu medical communities has contributed to safer pregnancies for women and healthier babies, setting the stage for stronger friendships to grow not just between governments, but between our institutions and our people.”

Mr Benedict Cheong, TFI’s Chief Executive, said, “Good health care is an essential pillar of the economic and social development of any community. We are pleased to know that this capability-building programme has facilitated a good learning exchange between healthcare professionals from Singapore and Tamil Nadu, leading to good outcomes such as improved nursing processes and practices in the area of antenatal and postnatal care. In the long run, we hope that this will bring about better health care support for the community and enhance the networks of cooperation between Tamil Nadu and Singapore.”

Professor Ivy Ng, SingHealth’sGroup Chief Executive Officer, said: “SingHealth is privileged to have partnered the DH&FW, Government of Tamil Nadu to share expertise in the management of high-risk pregnancies, obstetric and neonatal emergencies. This mutually beneficial collaboration has enabled both organisations to nurture a strong and sustainable pipeline of healthcare professionals to provide quality antenatal and maternal care.”

Dr Shephali Tagore, Director, O&G International Medical Programme, and Senior Consultant, Department of Maternal Fetal Medicine, KKH, who is also SIF Specialist Team Leader in the EMCH Programmesaid, “The past three years have been a great opportunity for us as healthcare providers to share ourexperiences – through these shared resources and expertise, we believe that we have helped play a littlesmall part in enablingsafer pregnancies and deliveries in Tamil Nadu.  Learning happens both ways – we toohave definitely taken away insights and learnings from ourIndian counterparts on their approach to maternity care and how they overcome challenges”

The EMCH Programmeis yet another collaborative project in India in healthcare – one of the key focus areas of the SIF’s work – and joins the ranks of similar maternity and child health programmes in Tamil Nadu (2009 – 2013) and Karnataka (2015 – present). Italso marks another milestone in the 23-year friendship between the SIF and India to uplift lives and build enduring friendships between our peoples.

About Singapore International Foundation

The Singapore International Foundation makes friends for a better world. We build enduring relationships between Singaporeans and world communities and harness these friendships to enrich lives and effect positive change. Our work is anchored in the belief that cross-cultural interactions provide insights that strengthen understanding. These exchanges inspire action and enable collaborations for good. Our programmes bring people together to share ideas, skills and experiences in areas such as healthcare, education, the environment, arts and culture, as well as livelihood and business. We do this because we believe we all can, and should, do our part to build a better world, one we envision as peaceful, inclusive and offering opportunities for all. Find out more at

About Temasek Foundation International

Temasek Foundation International is a Singapore-based non-profit philanthropic organisation that funds and supports programmes, which aim to build capabilities with programme partners in Asia and beyond. These programmes enable human and social capital development, contributing towards a more vibrant and connected global community, with positive networks of cooperation. The programmes also aim to enhance capabilities in the areas of health care, education, public administration, urban management and disaster-response. Temasek Foundation International is a member of the Temasek family of foundations.

For more information on Temasek Foundation International, visit

About Singapore Health Services (SingHealth)

The SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre draws on the collective strengths of SingHealth and Duke-NUS Medical School to drive the transformation of healthcare and provide affordable, accessible, quality healthcare. With over 40 clinical specialties, a network of acute hospitals, national specialty centres, polyclinics and community hospitals, it delivers comprehensive, multi-disciplinary and integrated care. In 2018, the Sengkang General Hospital and Sengkang Community Hospital will be completed to serve the community in the north-east of Singapore. To enhance community care, the new Outram Community Hospital on SGH Campus will be completed in 2020. For more information, please visit:

Members of the SingHealth group:

  • Hospitals (Tertiary Specialty Care):

Singapore General Hospital, Changi General Hospital, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Sengkang General Hospital (expected completion: 2018)

  • National Specialty Centres (Tertiary Specialty Care):

National Cancer Centre Singapore, National Dental Centre Singapore, National Heart Centre Singapore, National Neuroscience Institute, and Singapore National Eye Centre

  • SingHealth Polyclinics (Primary Care):

Bedok, Bukit Merah, Marine Parade, Outram, PasirRis, Punggol, Sengkang, and Tampines

  • SingHealth Community Hospitals (Intermediate and Long-term Care):

Bright Vision Hospital, Sengkang Community Hospital (expected completion: 2018), Outram Community Hospital (expected completion: 2020)

About KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital

KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) is a recognised leader and Singapore’s largest tertiary referral centre for Obstetrics, Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Neonatology. Founded in 1858, the 160-year-old academic medical institution leads in patient-centred management of high risk conditions in women and children. More than 500 specialists adopt a compassionate, multi-disciplinary and holistic approach to treatment, and harness medical innovations and technology to deliver the best medical care possible.

Accredited as an Academic Medical Centre, KKH is a major teaching hospital for all three medical schools in Singapore, Duke-NUS Medical School, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine. The 830-bed hospital also runs the largest specialist training programme for Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Paediatrics in the country. Both programmes are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education International (ACGME-I), and are highly rated for the high quality of clinical teaching and the commitment to translational research.

For more information, please visit:


Enhancing Maternal and Child Health Services Programme

TF Intl – SIF Hospital Management Programme in Tamil Nadu, India


The Enhancing Maternal and Child Health Services (MCH) Programmeis a three-year multi-track specialist team programme (2015-2018)implemented by the Singapore International Foundation in partnership with the Department of Health and Family Welfare (DH&FW), Government of Tamil Nadu, Temasek Foundation International, andSingHealth. The goal of the programme is to bring different partners in Singapore and India together to share each other’s expertise and work collectively in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 of Good health and well-being, specifically in the reduction of Infant Mortality Rate and Maternal Mortality Rate in Tamil Nadu.

Programme Objectives

The programme aims to:

  • enhance management of obstetric and neonatal emergencies in selected tertiary and secondary hospitals so as to enhance chances of survival of mothers and infants.
  • enhance identification and management of high risk pregnancies at secondary and community health facilities so as to identify and prevent obstetric emergencies.
  • enhance specific management and leadership skills & practices to support clinical outcomes such as quality of care framework, Human Resources management & continued medical education for healthcare workers.

Programme Modality

There are 4 components in this programme, namely:

  1. Training-of-Trainers (ToT)clinical workshops for multi-disciplinaryMCH teams
  2. Management Training
  3. Leaders’ Dialogue
  4. Professional Sharing

The clinical training component takes on the train-the-trainers approach, and aims to equipa core team of Master Trainers with the necessary skills and knowledge to improve practice and  go on to train others. The training methodology includes workshops, lectures, group discussions, case studies, skill enhancement stationsand simulations. Participants include multi-disciplinary medical teams from MGM Hospital, Chengalpattu Medical College & Hospital, Rannees Hospital, anddistrict public health officials from the Primary Healthcare Centres.

Programme Outcomes

Nearly 800doctors, nurses and public health leaders and officials have participated and benefitted from the series of ToT workshops, Pedagogy workshops, Management training, Leaders Dialogues, Symposia, Hospital Management training and a study visit to Singapore since the start of the programme in July 2015. A further 200 health professionals have been trained by the Master Trainers trained under this project, bringing the total number of beneficiaries to 1000 professionals.

A multi-disciplinaryteam of 26obstetricians, gynaecologists, midwives, emergency paediatricians, neonatologists and allied healthcare practitioners from KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital have shared their expertise on CORE (Combined Obstetric Resuscitations and Emergencies Training) for better management of high risk pregnancies arising from postpartum haemorrhage, eclampsia and sepsis. Clinical topics on new-born resuscitation and transportation into ambulance, management of preterm premature rupture of membranes and QC measures to prevent cross contamination were also shared.  For the healthcare leaders, the focus of the training was on quality and management framework, nursing management for leaders, human resources management and best practices on hospital management.

Among the pool of healthcare practitioners trained, 50 Master Trainers wereidentified and received additional training on pedagogical skills. Twenty-fourof the Master Trainers were selected to participate in a study visit to Singapore in 2017 where they observedfirst-handhow the techniques and practices they were trained in were implemented. Since 2016, the Master Trainers have conducted training for a further 220 of their colleagues and areexpected to continue with the training of future cohorts of healthcare practitioners for sustained impact and results.

With healthcare practitioners in three teaching hospitals trained Tamil Nadu trained as a result of this programme, at least 100,000 pregnant mothers and new-borns at hospitals and health centresin the three target districts of Tiruchirappalli, Kanchipuramand Pudukkottai can receive improved treatment and management of their conditions and thereby a better quality of life for both the mothers and children.

Programme Funders

The programme is funded by the Singapore International Foundation and Temasek Foundation International, and the Department of Health and Family Welfare (DH&FW), Government of Tamil Nadu.

The programme receives technical support and expertise from the Singapore Health Services Pte Ltd (SingHealth) and KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital.