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Women Deliver and Partners Urge Delegates to Act on the MDGs

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Read the FULL REPORT from the Accelerating Action on the MDGs event.

Ahead of the opening of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Summit at the UN in New York City, General Assembly delegates gathered yesterday for a dialogue with bilateral donors, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), First Ladies, youth leaders and the private sector on how to secure the resources and political will needed to achieve the MDGs—with specific focus on delivering solutions for women, girls and babies. (Download photos from the event)

The brunch, “Accelerating Action on the MDGs: Delivering for Girls, Women, and Babies,” was co-hosted by Women Deliver, and several UN, NGO, and foundation partner organizations. Read more...

MDG5: What’s in a Maternal Death?

By: Jill Sheffield, President of Women Deliver; originally posted at GLOBAL HEALTH Magazine Blog

It has been a big year for maternal health advocates. Next week we gear up for a global review of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and the Secretary-General will launch the Global Strategy for Womens and Childrens Health. These are huge steps forward, with path-cutting initiatives that will enable maternal health advocates, providers, and donors to do our work more effectively.

The recent UN maternal mortality figures are further good news, which confirm what we have all been hoping for: globally, mortality rates are down and we have been doing something right.

But have we been doing enough right? While the latest estimates are welcome good news, we know more must be done - both to save womens lives and better understand the magnitude of the problem.

Women Count. So It Is Time to Count Women.

The MHTF is soliciting reactions from the maternal health community to the newly released UN MMR data. Our hope is that, together, these comments will serve as a springboard for discussion and provide momentum towards MDG5.

By: Jill Sheffield, President, Women Deliver; originally posted at the MHTF Blog

There’s no doubt that this is excellent news. The new UN maternal mortality figures further confirm the trend that the IHME data suggested earlier this year: there is a global downward trend in maternal mortality. Who could be disappointed with that? Our hard work over the past decades is paying off.

But great news doesn’t detract from the persistent need for good, accurate, and real-time data in the maternal health field. Figures we have are estimates based, for many countries, on low-quality and incomplete data, or they are numbers derived from data models. Read more...

MDGFive.com: Make Your Own Advocacy Video for Maternal Health

Launched today, in anticipation of the UN Summit on the MDGs, is a new media initiative that draws artists and activists together behind one goal: improving maternal health, the fifth MDG, on which progress has lagged most.

Cofounded by Emmy-winning filmmaker Lisa Russell and Grammy-winning singer Maya Azucena, MDGFive.com includes creative content by world-renowned musicians and poets, including Zap Mama, DJ Spooky, Toni Blackman, and Carlos Andrés Gómez, as well as visual material from filmmakers and photographers Christy Turlington Burns, Paul Blackthorne, and Azfar Rizvi. The site features a “remixer” that can be used to create short videos using a library of music tracks, spoken word, film, and photos supplied by renowned mixed media artists from Brazil, Honduras, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and other countries.

Statement by Jill Sheffield on New UN Report Findings

We welcome this good news of declining numbers of mothers’ deaths. It is proof that worldwide, we know what to do to save women’s lives: investing in women pays off. The bad news is that we aren’t yet doing enough of it, because a thousand women still die every day in pregnancy and childbirth – more than 350,000 every year. Our mission is far from complete. Read more...

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