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Bill and Melinda Gates during their visit to CISM field activities in September 2003
Imagine a world where innovations could save the lives of 2 million more mothers and babies?

“Imagine a World Where innovations could save the lives of 2 million more mothers and babies” This is the title of an article written by Bill and Melinda Gates, co-presidents of Gates Foundation, funders of CHAMPS program (Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance), an initiative created in 2015, which in addition to Mozambique is also implemented in 6 other countries (Bangladesh, Ethiopia, South Africa, Kenya, Mali and Sierra Leone). The CHAMPS's program is coordinate by Emory University, it´s main objective is to determine the definitive causes of death in stillbirths and children under 5 years of age.

Every year, approximately 5 million children die before reaching the age of five

The Gates draw attention to the fact that every two minutes a mother dies due to complications arising from birth problems and according to them, the probability of a baby completing at least 1 year of life, after the mother loses her life during the childbirth, drops to 37%. As a result, according to them, every year, approximately 5 million children die before reaching the age of five and around 2 million babies never take their first breath, as they are born dead. It is in this context that, according to the Co-presidents of the Gates Foundation, the CHAMPS program emerged, aligned with the Millennium Development Goals (MDG).

Source: Gates Goalkeepers:

“The idea was to learn more about the specific causes of child death, by collecting blood and tissue samples from children who lost their lives, but no one was sure about the real causes”, explains Bill Gates, in the chapter which reports the motivations for the emergence of the CHAMPS program, which carries out surveillance on causes of death using procedures to obtain minimally invasive tissue samples (MITS), formally known as Minimally Invasive Autopsy (MIA).

Gates emphasizes that the innovation brought under the CHAMPS program

Furthermore, Gates points out that the innovation brought within the scope of the CHAMPS program through the adoption of the MITS procedure, allowed governments to obtain more accurate evidence about the real causes of child death, because according to him, “ten years ago, the authorities of public health had very vague information about why babies and children died. At that time, in any record of a child's death, diarrhea, malnutrition, pneumonia or premature birth were the diseases commonly listed as the cause of death.”

As research progressed, doctors and/or researchers discovered clearer pictures of death

However, as research progressed, doctors and/or researchers compiled and compared case by case, and discovered clearer (and often surprising) pictures of infant death. For example, some pathogens were less likely than expected, such as pertussis, which causes whooping cough, but others were more likely than expected, but others were more likely ​than we expected, such as Klebsiella, which can be more difficult to treat.

In addition to CHAMPS, a program that in Mozambique is implemented in the districts of Manhiça (Maputo) and Quelimane (Zambézia) by the Manhiça Health Research Center (CISM) in coordination with National Institute of Health (INS), the Gates Foundation also financed other important research, such as studies , PERCH (Pneumonia Etiology Research Child Health Study) , which examined the causes of childhood pneumonia and the GEMS (Global Enteric Multicenter Study), which examined the causes of diarrheal diseases and the latter was equally implemented by CISM in the district of Manhiça (2011-2013) and which contributes to the introduction of the Rotavirus Vaccine in Mozambique.

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