Maternal Child Health

‘Every Infant Matters’ for this Mother-Daughter Nonprofit Team  

With the ECHO Model's support, Dr. Shelly Batra and Dr. Radhika Batra reach more mothers around India with high-quality health care.
Dr. Shelly Batra, an ob-gyn based in India, holds a pediatric patient and smiles for a photo with her non-profit team.

When Dr. Radhika Batra and Dr. Shelly Batra met Dr. Sanjeev Arora, founder of Project ECHO, at the UN General Assembly in 2021, they realized the ECHO Model was what they needed to scale their nonprofit, Every Infant Matters, to provide life-saving skills to more maternal health providers across India, as quickly as possible. 

The mother-daughter team’s shared vision started when Radhika Batra was completing her medical residency in rural India. She observed an unfortunate pattern: most child deaths and disabilities could have been avoided with adequate training.  “If we were seeing about 10 deaths a week, it was clear eight of those could have been prevented,” Radhika Batra notes. “I wanted to be sure that children don’t suffer just because their parents don’t have money or resources, or awareness.”  

Radhika Batra enlisted the help of her mother, Dr. Shelly Batra, an obstetrician-gynecologist, and together they founded Every Infant Matters in Sikkim, a rural state in northern India. They focused their efforts first on vitamin A deficiency because with a small intervention, they could have a massive impact.

The Every Infant Matters team, originally based in northern India, now works in four countries. Credit: Every Infant Matters

By 2020, Every Infant Matters was working in Nigeria, Kenya, the Philippines, and 15 states in India; and they had expanded services to include trainings in hospitals. They set their sights on systemic change: training health care workers across India on a curriculum of simple, effective best-practices in maternal and child care.  

“No patient should suffer because they live in an area without a hospital,” says Radhika Batra . “Maternal and child health is the number one space where upgrading skills can make a difference.” 

ECHO India provided a connection to the government and Ministry of Health, a template for existing ECHO infrastructure in rural India, and – importantly – credibility to expand their trainings. ECHO had all the groundwork we needed,” Shelly Batra explains.We had the curriculum, but what ECHO gives us is the platform and network. We have the medical knowledge, and ECHO has the tech and the support.” 

Dr. Radhika Batra was one of four winners for the 2022 Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Credit: Every Infant Matters

With ECHO, Every Infant Matters is able to fill a gap in providing high-quality maternal health care training and emergency support to reach three types of health workers in India: ASHA workers, auxiliary nurse midwives, and community health officers. Their trainings include high-risk pregnancies, diagnosing post-partum hemorrhage, best practices for placental delivery, and pre-and-postnatal care guidance on nutrition.  

Especially in northern India, there are often insurmountable barriers to high-quality care, with frequent climate instability—especially in the monsoon season—and long distances to any nearest health care center. That’s why Every Infant Matters also offers emergency telementoring services: over video calls, they have navigated everything from how to insert an IV line into a newborn to managing neonatal hypoglycemia. 

Every Infant Matters has trained more than 11,550 health care providers. Since launching their partnership with ECHO in 2023, they have returned to Sikkim, their founding state, to train more than 350 health workers with the benefits of the ECHO platform.

The Every Infant Matters team includes pediatricians, nurses and obstetrician-gynecologists. Credit: Every Infant Matters

Radhika Batra feels in their work, women’s empowerment goes much further than improved patient outcomes, explaining, “Ninety percent of people we train are women, so all of our work with ECHO is directed toward making women feel more empowered. In India, all of our cultural practices have ingrained patriarchy in them. For women to be empowered with lifesaving skills in a culture like this is a very, very significant point to mention. This training gives women strength to stand up for what they believe in, and to fight against these patriarchal practices in our health care system.”

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Media Contact:

Ben Cloutier
Director of Communications & Marketing
Project ECHO
(505) 252-4157