CARE-GSK Partnership Awarded Silver at the Global Good Awards 2018

UPDATED 11th June

CARE International UK and GSK are proud to announce that our partnership programme to train and support entrepreneur midwives in rural Bangladesh has has been awarded silver for ‘Best International Sustainable Community’ in the Global Good Awards 2018.

The award-winning CARE-GSK project in Sunamganj, rural north-eastern Bangladesh trains women in clinical and business skills. This training allows them to become Entrepreneur Midwives, bringing skilled maternal and neonatal care to mothers and babies in remote and vulnerable communities, while also increasing income for their own families.

The CARE-GSK project has trained and supported a cohort of 300 Entrepreneur Midwives to reach remote communities with skilled healthcare. These midwives are now covering the whole district of Sunamganj; population 2.8 million. They have delivered 29,000 babies and provided 738,000 ante and post-natal services. Each midwife is supported by 10 Community Health Workers who educate the community and identify the pregnant women. Entrepreneur Midwife, Nurun Nahar explains:

The best part is serving the hard to reach community and earning for my self-dependency. Also, I am being recognised by women and other service recipients in the community for the services I provide and by local government and other departments of government for my contribution to society with some awards. Service demand is now on the increase. I become very happy when I manage to save the lives of mothers and newborns by my services.

Shabnam Amini, Executive Director - Fundraising, Partnerships and Communications at CARE International UK, who visited Sunamganj in December last year describes the enormous difference the project is making:

It is impossible to overstate the health risks mothers and children face in this hard-to-reach area. For the majority, transportation by boat to a trained midwife was not possible or was too costly before this project; creating huge inequities in accessing health services. Introducing skilled midwives and community health workers who can reach these communities by boat and engage them within a joined-up healthcare network has had an incredible impact. We are very proud to  receive this award and to see the achievements of these amazing Entrepreneur Midwives recognised on a global stage.

The tireless work of these dedicated midwives is critical, given that the world faces an estimated shortfall of 18 million frontline health workers by 2030. Since 2010 GSK’s Frontline Health Worker Programme, in partnership with CARE, Save the Children and Amref, has trained 67,000 health workers across Asia and Africa.  As Daryl Burnaby, Director of Frontline Health Worker Programmes at GSK explains;

As a partnership, we believe that good health has a transformative impact on people’s lives and so we’re very proud that our work has been recognised with this  silver Global Good Award for ‘Best International Sustainable Community’

Rumana Ahmed, Head of Communications, GSK Bangladesh adds:

This flagship project in Bangladesh clearly demonstrates how healthcare solutions that are community-led can become embedded in the community as well as supported by local and national government; this combination makes them sustainable.

Award judges highlighted the project’s “clear and appropriate promotion to the targeted community” as well as its “strong engagement with local government”. They also praised the entrepreneurship training as “an innovative element to ensure that Entrepreneur Midwives are maintaining a high enough income level to keep attrition rates low.”

Formerly the National CSR Awards, the Global Good Awards recognise and reward truly responsible and sustainable business practices. The Best International Sustainable Community Category, with past winners including Twinings (2017) and Jaguar Land Rover (2016),  are awarded to the most innovative, engaged and successful international community development scheme.

For images and further information:

Photos and a full transcribed interview with Entrepreneur Midwife, Nurun Nahar are available on request.

For further information please contact Louise Wilson, Corporate Communications Consultant, CARE International UK:

If Louise is unavailable please contact Ruby Wright, Press and PR Manager, CARE International UK,

For further information on the global frontline health worker shortage please see the Frontline Health Workers Coalition website.

Notes to editors:

2016 independent midterm evaluation data for the Entrepreneur Midwives programme from icddr,b, showed significant improvements, compared to 2013 baseline as follows:

Pregnant women participating in a birth preparedness discussion with a healthcare provider increased from 8% to 46%.
36% reduction in complications during childbirth and 48% reduction in complications within 42 days postnatal.
58% increase in skilled antenatal care and almost 3-fold increase in skilled attendance at birth and skilled postnatal care within 2 days
Early childhood mortality reduced significantly. For every 1,000 live births, 10 more new-borns were saved compared to baseline. The neonatal and under-5 mortality rate has closed the gap with the national average for rural areas and is now better than the poor performing Sylhet division, where this area is situated.

The Entrepreneur Midwives served women from all wealth quintiles. 63% who received services were from the lowest three quintiles, resulting in reduction of inequity in accessing skilled health services.


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