Integrated Family Health Initiative

Integrated Family Health Initiative

Publication info


Bihar, a state in eastern India, has some of the country’s highest rates of maternal, neonatal and infant mortality. Extreme poverty, gender and social inequality, low literacy rates and early marriage further compound Bihar’s reproductive health crisis. Recognizing these persistent gaps, CARE India launched the Integrated Family Health Initiative (IFHI) project in 2010, with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The core set of proven interventions it uses focus on the 1,000 day window-- from conception to a child’s second birthday—to improve the health and survival of women and children.

Our Project

Objective: To support the Government of Bihar in increasing the universal coverage and quality of life‐saving interventions and improve the health and survival of women, newborns and children during the first 1,000 days of a child’s life.

Context:  With 89% of the population living in rural communities, nearly one‐third of households do not have access to any government health care services. Where services are available, they are inferior in quality. This lack of services contributes to the high rates of maternal, neonatal and infant mortality in the state, as well as the high prevalence of malnutrition, anemia, stunted growth and high fertility rates. Therefore, IFHI implemented a set of core interventions, spanning the family health continuum of services: maternal, newborn, nutrition, immunization and family planning. The interventions were initially implemented in 137 blocks of eight high‐risk districts and scaled‐up to the remaining 30 districts after two years. 

Our Approaches 

On the basis of rigorous evidence of effectiveness and the need for increased coverage and utilization of the intervention within Bihar, a set of core interventions have been identified and prioritized for foci across the family health continuum. Core interventions include maternal care, newborn care, nutrition, immunization, and family planning.

To address critical barriers of good health such as poor information flow and use, poor integration of interventions, and lack of adequate awareness and focus on preventative care among frontline workers, IFHI rolled out a set of cross-cutting solutions using innovative approaches which represent delivery vehicles to increase the coverage of key family health interventions. 

Want to learn more?

See our tools and resources on the IFHI page.

See the recognition from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation at Women Deliver in 2013.

Download the Project Brief