Washington, D.C. – The maternal health community has called on President-Elect Obama and the US government to allocate US$1.3 billion in fiscal year 2010 for maternal and newborn health and support US$1 billion for family planning programs* with clear budgetary tracking. This call to action was endorsed by Family Care International, CARE, White Ribbon Alliance, and many other maternal health organizations.
The community is also calling for members of Congress to provide US leadership in developing a comprehensive, evidence-based Maternal and Newborn Health Emergency Action Plan designed to provide universal access to lifesaving health care for mothers and newborns in the developing world. The Action Plan should outline how the U.S. will contribute to a global effort to:
Provide access to four essential life-saving strategies – family planning, skilled care during pregnancy and childbirth, emergency care for complications, and postpartum care. Address the severe shortage of trained health care workers and strengthen health systems more broadly, recognizing that maternal mortality is a good marker of how well a health system is functioning.**
Address the unique social and economic barriers that limit women's access to and usage of health services, and improve quality of care and equity of services.
This financial ask is only a piece of the US$10.2 billion that is needed annually to ensure universal coverage of basic services required to achieve Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 (focusing on child and maternal mortality) by 2015.
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*The $1.3 billion funding request is based on need identified in the WHO report 2005. The $1.3 billion ask includes costs for care during pregnancy, childbirth, the neonatal period and the postpartum period, as well as the costs for postpartum family planning and counseling; program-level costs are also included.
Program interventions and activities costed include: program planning and management; supervision of staff; health education; advocacy; and monitoring and evaluation. Health systems interventions costed include: infrastructure/maintenance; acquisition of transportation/commodities; and human resource development.
**Estimates are that an additional 4 million trained health workers are needed so there are 2.3 health workers per thousand people. A quarter of these health workers should be skilled birth attendants who work close to women’s homes. WHO (2006). Fact sheet N° 302