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Study explores impact of “India’s medical miracle” on newborn and infant survival

Last year we shared the story of “India’s medical miracle” — an emergency medical system, known as GVK EMRI (Emergency Management and Research Institute), that began as a group of 14 ambulances and grew to a fleet of more than 10,000 vehicles in just a decade. The EMRI reports they’re serving an estimated 26,710 emergencies per day, yet until recently, no studies had investigated the impact of the system.

Now, a study by Stanford researchers sheds light on the effect of the GVK EMRI on newborn and infant survival in India. As a recent Stanford Health Policy story explains, the study, published this month in Health Affairs, focused on two Indian states (Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh) served by the GVK EMRI and found the emergency service reduced infant and neonatal mortality rates by at least 2 percent in parts of Gujarat and had similar effects statewide in Andhra Pradesh.

“I’ve worked on various issues related to women and children’s health in Asia for many years, and one of the most frustratingly stubborn problems is preventable infant and maternal deaths,” said lead author Kimberly Singer Babiarz, PhD. “It’s wonderful to find a model that has found some success in connecting mothers and their infants with high-quality and timely emergency care when it is most needed.”

Stanford’s Grant Miller, PhD, senior author of the study, cited the need for additional research, saying the research team plans to include other Indian states in their analysis as the necessary data are made available.

Previously: American India Foundation Symposium on maternal and newborn health to be held at StanfordA look at “India’s medical miracle,” the largest ambulance service in the worldStanford journalist returns to old post in India – and finds health care still laggingStanford-India Biodesign co-founder: Our hope is to “inspire others and create a ripple effect” in India
Photo by Siddhartha Jain