The San Francisco Based Team:


Suellen 2014Suellen Miller, PhD, CNM

Director, Safe Motherhood Program, Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, UCSF
Principal Investigator and Ignitor of NASG Projects
Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, UCSF
Professor, Maternal and Child Health Program, School of Public Health, UC Berkeley

Professor Suellen Miller is a globally recognized expert in international maternal health. Professor Miller pioneered the studies of the NASG. She has been the Principal Investigator of NASG clinical trials in Egypt, Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe and has led the implementation of all Safe Motherhood’s international projects in, among other countries: Bolivia, Cambodia, the Dominican Republic, India, Mexico, Niger, Peru, Tibet, and Vietnam. Professor Miller has published over 80 journal articles, written numerous book chapters, and co-authored A Book for Midwives, a guide to safe motherhood. As the world’s leading expert on the NASG, Professor Miller has delivered hundreds of international presentations on the NASG and has trained over 7000 providers in the use, protocols, data collection, monitoring and evaluation necessary for large scale NASG implementation. Read more about Dr. Miller.
Dr. Miller’s CV

  • Annual Letter from Director

    sm at ucsf




    Dec 14, 2014

    Dear Friends of Safe Motherhood:

    Greetings to all of you, who have remained friends of Safe Motherhood through the past decade. This is an update of some of the activities that UCSF Safe Motherhood Program and the LifeWrap have had in 2014. I have tried to focus this year’s letter on our partners in the many countries where we work. Although you may not know them by name, these are the global champions who are carrying on the work now that NASGs have been clinically demonstrated to save mother’s lives.

    After our clinical trials were completed and the results were published, we enjoyed the success of having the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Federation of Gynecologists and Obstetricians (FIGO) adding the NASG to the global postpartum hemorrhage (PPH)guidelines and we have been invited to contribute our expertise to expanding implementation projects in new sites. Thanks to Metin Gulmezoglu of WHO and Andre LaLonde,Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, Will Stones, and Claudia Hansen of FIGO.

    NASGs are now being used in over 20 countries, in many countries “at scale,” that is, in the majority of districts/states.

    Haiti and the Philippines.

    Safe Motherhood Program donated NASGs to midwife Robin Lim (CNN Hero) and her associates in Tacloban, the Philippine city most devastated by Hurricane Haiyan.

    Robin wrote to me:

    “In the Philippine Disaster zone the shock garments have saved the lives of 3 women since the Bumi Sehat team have adopted the Safe Motherhood Camp. I told the midwives about the existence of Shock Garments. What followed was a long excited discussion. One midwife said, “You would have to be very careful when taking it off, you know, has to be from the bottom up toward the heart, and slowly.” I nearly cried, this is the kind of bright Midwife, who goes on to save uncounted lives, because she has common sense, and can think thoroughly and wisely.  

    In addition, we gave training materials to and conducted trainings for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF or Doctors without Borders) and the Canadian Red Cross. MSF plans to implement NASGs in Western African countries affected by Ebola. Much gratitude to my colleague at MSF, Barcelona, Olivia Hill. Thanks to Dr. Sohel Solani, who worked for two years to get the Red Cross to accept NASGs, the Red Cross will implement them in South Sudan, along with projects in Haiti and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Shout out to Dr. Lisa Thomas of WHO, she has worked tirelessly to keep the NASG on the front burner of humanitarian organizations. Thanks to her efforts, we have now been invited to present to the International Commission of the Red Cross in Geneva.

    New Projects:

    Other NASG-using countries have expanded their use of the NASGs and new countries have added NASG programs.

    I just returned from a 6-week trip around the world, first stopping in Hong Kong to work with the new manufacturer of NASGs, BlueFuzion Group, who has worked to manufacture a high quality, low cost garment for around $60, then to Timor Leste and Tanzania before coming back to US for a large meeting on shock and hypovolemia.

    timor lesteIn Timor Leste (East Timor), the NGO, JSI , is implementing a large intervention project to save mother’s lives in 3 districts. We trained health workers in the referral hospitals and primary health care centers and also put postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) kits in those facilities and in ambulances. An ambulance nurse cried as he told me about having to turn around during a long trip to the hospital, because the woman had died and he needed to take her body back to the family. He is hoping that having NASGs on the ambulances will prevent those deaths in the future. Timor Leste, and the area called Occuse, is very rural with no roads and long distances to facilities. NASGs and PPH kits may make a huge difference. Much thanks to Dr. Reginald Gipson, JSI, Timor Leste, who introduced the NASG to Egypt back in 2003 and for continuing his life-saving work.

    ifakaraIn Tanzania, IFAKARA Health Institute, the largest Tanzanian NGO established in 1954, is implementing a large maternal health project in 324 facilities. In October and November 2014 Rhoda Amafumba, a very experienced midwife from Zambia who worked with the NASG study there, Michelle Skaer, and I worked with an amazing team from IFAKARA, Seleman Mbuyuti, Robert Tilya, Iddajovana Kinyonge, Godfrey Mburuka, Ritha Godfrey, Zac Mtema, and others who trained health care workers on the NASG for nearly one month all across Tanzania.

    On the day Seleman returned home he wrote:

    “Dear all: 
In an hour or so I will be arriving home after being away for 25 days through the course of launching NASG in our study districts. The first reward of our team’s hard work came just now through a phone call from Kahama hospital medical officer in-charge. His call was not only to report the first case of NASG, but also to convey his heartfelt thankfulness to our team. A woman’s life has been saved. He reports of a referral case of a woman from Ushetu Health Centre with placenta previa who had turned paper white but garment came to rescue! A fresh garment was taken back to Ushetu HC and garment washing is happening today at Kahama hospital while the woman rests in post op ward in a sound condition. What can be more rewarding than this? I was feeling very exhausted but suddenly I am rejuvenated!”

    When I posted that letter on Facebook, my colleague in Agra, India, Dr. Narendra Malhotra, responded:

    “What you taught our group has saved another 3 lives!”

    Also from India, tireless NASG champion, Dr. Sheela Mane, has been holding workshops on PPH with NASG. Using our “Donate a LifeWrap to Honor Your Mother,” campaign, she has elicited numerous donations from her colleagues for NASGs for facilities in India. One doctor, who had lost her own mother to PPH, procured 10 NASGs for her village.

    Our SafeMotherhood Group is so fortunate to be able to work with all of these great people around the world who do so much for women and their families. I only wish there could be room to mention them all.

    Wishing all of you and yours the happiest holiday season.

    Warm regards,

    Suellen Miller, CNM, PhD        

    Professor, University of California San Francisco

    Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences
    Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health
    Director, Safe Motherhood Program

    University of California Berkeley
    School of Public Health
    Maternal and Child Health Program


Alison El Ayadi, ScD, MPH

Assistant Research Scientist, Safe Motherhood Program, Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, UCSF

Dr. El Ayadi is an epidemiologist whose research interests include maternal mortality and morbidity, access to obstetric care, and the structural, social and interpersonal factors that configure maternal health disparities. She is project director for the Beyond Repair project on family and community reintegration after obstetric fistula surgery and the primary analyst on the Safe Motherhood Program’s obstetric hemorrhage work.  




  Michelle Skaer, MPH

Project Director for NASG Implementation Studies, Safe Motherhood Program, Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health,      UCSF

Michelle Skaer is responsible for training, monitoring and evaluation of NASG projects for the Safe Motherhood program. Previously she was the primary analyst and a technical coordinator for the National Haitian EID Program with the Caris Foundation. She completed her Masters of Public Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School.


International Panel Of Experts:

The Safe Motherhood Program is proud to be associated with an international panel of experts who are committed to the progress of this device.


godfrey mbaruku photo  Deputy Chief Executive Director, Ifakara Health Institute, Tanzania

Dr. Godfrey Mbaruku is considered “one of the first heroes of the modern maternal health movement.” He receieved his MD from University of Dar es Salaam and has a Master of Medicine in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. His work on comprehensive interventions in improving reproductive health in rural settings have been adopted at national and international level. He currently acts as a leader in implementing the NASG into a comprehensive maternal health care intervention in over 300 facilities in Tanzania.


 Chief of Party, Health Services Program, John Snow Incorporated reginald gipson photo

Reginald F. Gipson, MD, MPH, has had over 30 years of extensive experience as a maternal, newborn and child health physician and technical advisor in the provision of policy, strategic, technical, program planning and budgetary assistance to USAID/Missions, regional government counterparts and implementing partners for large scale programs. Dr. Gipson has successfully managed eight large international maternal, neonatal and child health programs with a cumulative budget of over $300 million. He implemented a multi-faceted comprehensive maternal health project in Egypt, which reduced maternal mortality. He also pioneered the use of NASG in Egypt in 2003. He and his team are implementing NASG in Timor Leste as part of a comprehensive continuum of care for PPH project.



Professor of Ob/Gyn and Director, Center for Population and Reproductive Health, University Teaching College, Ibadan Nigeria.

Dr. Ojengbede is a highly regarded academic practitioner and a key participant in the National Program on Strengthening Strategic Leadership and Management, the current initiative on building leadership and management capacity at all levels of healthcare. Dr. Ojengbede has been the primary in-country partner in the implementation of the NASG Nigeria pilot.



Associate Professor, Women’s Health at Assiut University Women’s Health Center, Assiut, Egypt

Dr. Mohamed Fathalla is the co-author of “A Practical Guide for Health Researchers” and “Sexual and reproductive health for all: a call for action”. He has used the NASG extensively in the Egypt trial and is experienced in training, monitoring, and evaluation of the NASG during surgery and transports.



Head of the Emergency Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, El-Galaa Maternity Teaching Hospital in Cairo

Dr. Mohammed Mourad is a skilled physician and teacher and has extensive hospital management experience. He has worked as a consultant and trainer for the Healthy Mother/Healthy Child Project. Dr. Mourad has used the NASG in a wide range of cases and has trained many junior physicians in its use.



Consultant, Obstetrics and Gynecology, University College Hospital, Ibadan Nigeria
Member, Nigeria NASG Research Team

Dr. Morhason-Bello has facilitated several Emergency Obstetric Care Service Trainings on Life Saving Skills for both the Medical Officers of Health and Midwives in Nigeria. He is a National Trainer on Strategic Leadership and Management for Population and Reproductive Health in Nigeria and current General Secretary of the Nigerian Medical Association, Oyo state Branch.



Senior Lecturer and Consultant, Ob/Gyn at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital(AKTH), Kano, Nigeria

Dr. Galadanci is the first President of the Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria, Kano state branch. She is a member of the PMTCT National Task Team, Vice President of the National Reproductive Health Working Group and Member of the West African Steering Committee on Reduction of Maternal Mortality. She is an external examiner to five Teaching Hospitals, examiner to West African College of Surgeons, and has published over 30 articles.


christine kaseba

Specialist, Obstetrics and Gynaecology at University Teaching Hospital (UTH) in Lusaka, Zambia
Head of Department /Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Zambia
Honorary Lecturer, University of Zambia
Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, UTH

Dr. Christine Kaseba is a Member of the WHO African Regional Task force and Founding Member of the Regional Reproductive Health Centre Project. Dr. Kaseba has been a consultant trainer in family planning for the MOH and private organizations, served on numerous hospital committees: both academic and clinical, and been delegate and representative of multiple technical teams, women’s assemblies, and public health committees.


gricelia mkumba

Consultant, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University Of Zambia, Lusaka
Honorary Lecturer, University of Zambia
Focal Person, The Prevention and Treatment of Obstetric Fistula Initiative

Dr. Gricelia Mkumba is a team leader on the task force for cervical screening program and team leader and trainer of PMTCT trainers. Dr. Mkumba has been involved in research into the NASG, as well as a needs assessment of EMOC (Emergency Obstetric Care) and a cancer prevention study funded by WHO.


tulani magwali

 Lecturer, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Zimbabwe

Dr. Thulani Magwali has been a consultant with Advance Africa and FHI in FP in the Era of HIV and with UNICEF and the MOH in Assessing EMOC Services in Zimbabwe. He has been Senior Registrar in Obs & Gyn at Harare Maternity Hospital. Dr. Magwali has researched the NASG and HIV prevention.


International Staff:



Nurse Midwife
EmONC Specialist, Zambia Integrated System Strengthening Program, ABT. Assoc.

Rhoda Amafumba has held the position of Sister-in-Charge in the Labor Ward at University Teaching Hospital. She has delivered a Life Saving Skills for Midwives Program, has worked with Maternal and Neonatal Health Project with JHPIENGO, has worked with PMTCT counseling, training, and research, and is a member of Prevention of Maternal Mortality Network in Zambia.



Nurse Midwife

Violet holds a Nursing Diploma in Higher Education, BSC Honors in Midwifery, a Masters Degree in Midwifery, Post Graduate Diploma in Health Promotion and Public Health, and a Diploma and Bachelors Degree in Theology. She has been a Senior Nurse Midwife. Mambo was the Project Coordinator in Harare, Zimbabwe of the Zambia and Zimbabwe NASG Randomized Cluster Trial.