Joint Development Associates

Catalyzing Transformational Development

Birth Life Saving Skills (BLiSS)

In Afghanistan, home birth with unskilled attendants in the norm and newborn and mother mortality rates are high.  Afghanistan has one of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates in the world.  Over 12% of Afghan babies will die before they reach their first birthday.


BLiSS is a health education program that trains women in basic life-saving skills related to pregnancy, birth and newborn care. The 17-lesson course is taught along with hands-on health education training using life-sized dolls.  The training gives women the knowledge and confidence to intervene in potentially life-threatening circumstances related to pregnancy and birth when there is no access to a trained health worker or hospital. BLiSS also teaches women good lifetime health practices and family planning strategies. 

JDA started its BLiSS community education program in 2013 and since then has directly benefited more than 1,300 women.

"My daughter delivered twins in her third pregnancy but her babies died on their seventh month.  The doctor said the babies got an infection from birth.  Recently she became pregnant with twins again and delivered them through cesarean section because of anemia.  The babies were early so they had to stay for 20 days in the hospital and the doctors told us they need blood transfusion because they are anemic.  I have been coming to this BLiSS course after the hospital because I think this information is good and necessary for everyone to know."

-Bibi Khanom

Women in BLiSS Training Group