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Celebrate Solutions: Model Maternities Initiative in Mozambique

By: Mariko Rasmussen, Communications Specialist at Women Deliver

Mozambique_mother.jpgAs in many African countries, women in Mozambique often give birth outside of a health facility. Factors leading to this decision include having difficult access to health services, being scared of how they will be treated at a health facility, and feeling more comfortable delivering at home. But, when complications occur at home, women and babies are much less likely to receive the appropriate, life-saving care they need. Mozambique’s government and partners are working to change this trend by improving health care delivery through the Model Maternities Initiative (MMI). The goal of MMI is to improve maternal and newborn health care services while providing a supportive environment in which women give birth. Read more...

Giving UN Women a Chance: The Need for Full Funding

Yesterday, Madeleine Bunting, a columnist for the Guardian who writes on a wide range of subjects including women's issues and social change, wrote about the UN's new agency for women, UN Women. In her blog for the Poverty Matters Blog, she mentions that although world leaders have been vocal about the importance of women's empowerment, they need to demonstrate their commitment by agreeing to properly fund UN Women, which before it's official start is already likely to be under-funded and under-resourced. Read more...

First meeting of Accountability Commission on Women’s and Children’s Health

Originally posted by The Partnership for Newborn, Maternal, and Child Health

High-level Chairs and Commissioners of the new Information and Accountability Commission on Women’s and Children’s Health have convened for their first meeting at WHO. The Commission’s two eminent chairs each led sessions: President of Tanzania, Jakaya Kikwete headed the session on accounting for results with Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper leading the session on accountability for resources. Vice-chairs, Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General of the ITU, and Margaret Chan, Director-General WHO supported discussions focused on papers from the two expert technical Working Groups with 30 high-level commissioners from government, civil society, academia, and multi-lateral agencies. Read more...

Op-Ed: Keep Up the Pressure on Maternal Health, Canada

By: Jill Sheffield, President of Women Deliver; originally posted in The Globe and Mail, Canada

Almost one year ago exactly, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that maternal health would be the focus of the summer’s G8 summit. This was major news for those of us who had spent decades in the maternal health field, and was one more signal that 2010 would be a landmark year for our issues.

And from virtually every standpoint, it was. Read more...

Op-Ed: Kikwete at Helm of New UN Team

By: Jill Sheffield, President of Women Deliver, originally published in The Citizen, Tanzania

In Geneva this week, a small group of global health leaders will meet to discuss the future of maternal health. I am looking forward to seeing President Kikwete there.

2010 was a landmark year for maternal health, from every standpoint. In July, the African Union renewed the Maputo Protocol, one of the most forward-thinking international charters on women’s rights.

New data showed that global maternal deaths are in decline, and a series of high-level meetings throughout the year signaled that the health of girls and women has at last become a global priority.

In September, the UN Secretary-General launched his $40 billion “Every Woman Every Child” plan to scale up women’s and children’s health services in developing countries. An accountability commission was appointed to help guide the plan’s implementation, emphasizing transparency and results. Read more...

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