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I am 27. And I am a maternal health advocate.

By: Janna Oberdorf, Communications Manager for Women Deliver; originally posted at MHTF Blog

These are two things I’m very proud of. I’m proud to be young (or at least young-ish) and passionate about women and mothers. I’m proud that when I see images of women giving birth in low-quality health facilities, I want to yell at the world. I’m proud that the first time I learned what fistula is, I wanted to smash my computer screen and say, “Why didn’t I even know about this before?” This is a fight that I’m ready and willing to take – the fight for mothers around the world.

But why are there so few young people involved in maternal health, at the research level, at the advocacy level, and at the policy level?

Clean Birth Kits: Do We Need Them?

By: Janna Oberdorf, Communications Manager for Women Deliver; originally posted at the MHTF Blog

Clean Birth Kits. It seems like a no-brainer. And, as one audience member at the Global Maternal Health Conference said, “There’s no doubt these would work.”

But, there is doubt, as I learned at today’s session, “Clean birth kits: do we need them?”. There’s serious speculation on what impact and effect clean birth kits (CBKs) would have on saving lives. The session panelists presented a review of the existing evidence on clean birth practices and the potential role for CBKs in supporting these preventive practices, and they found serious gaps in knowledge and research.

Power to the People: How to Use Policy and Advocacy Tools to Improve Maternal Health

By: Janna Oberdorf, Communications Manager for Women Deliver; originally posted at the MHTF Blog

At today’s session on “Policy and advocacy tools” at the Global Maternal Health Conference 2010, panelists presented on web-based and new media options for disseminating maternal health research and messages. Though online technology is an often-untapped resource for the maternal health field, the panelists laid out specific ideas and strategies that have the potential to catalyze policy change.

Brief Insights From the Global Maternal Health Conference 2010

By: Kate Mitchell from the Maternal Health Task Force; orginally posted at the MHTF Blog

Today (August 30, 2010) marked the first day of the Global Maternal Health Conference in Delhi. Throughout the day, the nearly 700 conference participants–made up of maternal health researchers, programmers, advocates, social entrepreneurs, policymakers, and  young professionals–shared a number of insights, lessons learned, recommendations and innovative ideas for improving the health of women around the world.

Click through to read brief insights from the Inaugural Ceremony speeches...

Health Experts Convene at Global Maternal Health Conference 2010

From August 30 to September 1, more than 600 maternal health experts will gather in Delhi, India, for the Global Maternal Health Conference 2010, the first international technical conference devoted exclusively to maternal health. Hosted by the Maternal Health Task Force at EngenderHealth and the Public Health Foundation of India, the conference aims to increase consensus and coordination around the evidence, programs, and advocacy needed to advance maternal health. According to latest estimates, more than 342,000 women worldwide die due to preventable pregnancy or childbirth complications every year.

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