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2015+: A World Without the MDGs

2015+.JPGBy: Dr. Frederick Torgbor Sai, a Ghanaian family health physician and honorary co-chair of Women Deliver 2010 conference

The eight MDGs are too well known to warrant repetition here. MDG 5 asked for a reduction of the maternal mortality ratio by three quarters between 2000 and 2015. Other goals related directly to MDG 5 are focused on child health, improvement in women’s status and the reduction of poverty. The attainment of all the other MDGs would also influence MDG 5, as would its attainment also impact all the others. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Integrating Family Planning and Fuel Efficiency for Better Health, Environment

tanzania.gifBy: Rati Bishnoi, Special Projects Intern at Women Deliver

Rukia Seif holds an unusual place in her community.

In addition, to being a mother of three, Seif is a population, health, and environment (PHE) peer educator in her Tanzanian village on the outskirts of Saadani National Park. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Kenya to Spend $3.4 Million to Give Free Sanitary Pads to School Girls

kenya_girl.JPGBy: Rati Bishnoi, Special Projects Intern at Women Deliver

The Kenyan finance ministry this month announced plans to allocate $3.4 million in the current fiscal budget to provide free sanitary pads to school girls in an effort to remove a major barrier to education in the east African nation. Read more...

Mothers Facing Famine in Horn of Africa

By: Rati Bishnoi, Special Projects Intern

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is intensifying its efforts to assist mothers affected by famine and displacement in the Horn of Africa.

“We call upon the international community to urgently look after the unique needs of pregnant women and mothers whose families’ survival are particularly at risk,” UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin said in an agency release. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: For New Moms, Linking Long-Acting Family Planning with Child Immunizations

By: Madeline Taskier, Partnership Coordinator at Women Deliver

Last month I attended a session at the 38th Annual Global Health Council Conference on immunization as a platform for family planning integration. Today I’d like to highlight a program featured at this session: a project aiming to reach high-need, postpartum women in Bamako, Mali with family planning services and counseling. Read more...

 

Local Perspectives: Preventing Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV in Nigeria

By: Toyin Ajao, winner of Women Bloggers Deliver Contest

When I put myself in their shoes, I imagine one of the most difficult feelings experienced by any one of the 200,000 Nigerian pregnant women living with HIV is knowing that the deadly virus could be transmitted to their child without the right care. Read more...

Take Action: Support the Right to Maternal Health in Uganda

On July 7, the Constitutional Court of Uganda will begin hearing arguments in a landmark case that alleges that the Ugandan government is violating its constitution by failing to promote the right to health and the right to life of mothers. Read more and learn how you can get involved...

Celebrate Solutions: Fostering Husbands’ Involvement and Support in Ethiopia

By: Mariko Rasmussen, Communications Specialist at Women Deliver

A few months ago I wrote about a program that works to empower young women in Guatemala by providing essential health, education, and social services to an underserved population. Today I’d like to highlight the flip side: a gender project that works with men in rural Ethiopia.

In Ethiopia, the lifetime risk of maternal death is 1 in 40 and the contraceptive prevalence rate is just 15 percent. HIV prevalence in the Amhara region is significant. The Addis Birhan (meaning “new light” in Amharic) program seeks to promote HIV prevention by changing attitudes and promoting equitable relationships through educating and engaging husbands in issues related to reproductive health, including HIV prevention, family planning, gender violence, alcohol and drug abuse, and domestic responsibilities. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Free caesarean policy increases utilization in Mali, but challenges remain

By: Rati Bishnoi, Special Projects Intern at Women Deliver

Mali_mother.jpgThe government of Mali in 2005 began offering free caesarean sections in public hospitals, health clinics, and army hospitals. The policy change was driven by the reality that high maternal costs often prevent women from giving birth in health care facilities—and catastrophic costs, such as for caesareans, have the “potential to plunge a household into poverty.” Six years later, the policy is associated with a steady increase in caesarean rates, a drop in maternal and neonatal mortality, and a rise in institutional deliveries in the West African nation, according to a recent report by USAID’s Health System 20/20. Read more...

Live From Kenya: Equal Treatment at Birth

By: Rachel Cernansky, winner of the Women Bloggers Deliver contest

In rural Kenya, a majority of women give birth at home and without a skilled attendant--often because hospitals, and the transportation to even get to a hospital, are simply too expensive and inaccessible for so many women.

Now imagine the situation for HIV-positive women, who should give birth by C-section to reduce the risk of transmission from mother to child. According to the Ministry of Health, only 65 percent of hospitals in the country provide that procedure. It's also more expensive, so even if it's locally available, it's not always a realistic option. Read more...

Live from Kenya: So Much More Than Water

By: Rachel Cernansky, winner of the Women Bloggers Deliver contest

school2.jpgIt was raining when we got to the Malava Girls school--the loud, heavy kind of rain that makes it hard to hear your own voice inside--and we weren't sure we would get to visit with the girls we came to see. The plan was to demonstrate a LifeStraw Family and to hear what they had to say about clean water and the impact of waterborne diseases on their lives.

But we waited the rain out and did get to see the girls, just an hour or so later than scheduled. And we got to hear about so much more than just water. Read more...

Live From Kenya: Bridging Clean Water to Maternal Health

By: Toyin Ajao, winner of the Women Bloggers Deliver contest

Emusanda_Health_Centre.jpgYesterday, on the Carbon for Water campaign trail, we met with Francis Odhiambo, the provincial public health officer of the Western Province in Kenya. He had a great impact in helping connect the dots between having safe drinking water, combating diseases and women having safe pregnancies and deliveries. Mr. Francis Odhiambo believed strongly that women suffer twice as much as men on health issues relating to water borne disease because of their daily activities and chores around the house and for their families. Women not only face the hardship of looking for nonexistent safe water, but they also have to trek miles to get stream water and firewood for boiling it. Read more...

Live From Kenya: The Brains and the Bruises

school.jpgBy: Toyin Ajao, winner of the Women Bloggers Deliver contest

As part of the Women Bloggers Deliver contest, and the Carbon for Water campaign, I am excited to be traveling around the Western Province of Kenya, meeting women and girls who are hard-hit by the issues associated with the Millennium Development Goals. Yesterday, I got the chance to visit the Malava’s Girls High School -- a reaffirmation time that the Millennium Development Goals are so important, especially the goal addressing women and girls’ issues. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Training Community Health Workers in Lesotho

By: Mariko Rasmussen, Communications Specialist at Women Deliver

Lesotho_Training_Wiki.jpgIn Lesotho, community health workers are saving lives, one mother at a time. Lesotho is a small Southern African country that faces numerous development challenges. There is a high prevalence of HIV and AIDS – nearly 1 in 4 adults is HIV positive – and there are high rates of maternal mortality and morbidity. The mountainous terrain makes it difficult for many people, especially pregnant women, to reach healthcare services. Partners In Health (PIH), with support from the Elton John AIDS Foundation, began a pilot project in 2009 to increase services to pregnant women in the area surrounding the Bobete health center and reverse this problem. Read more...

Marching to Celebrate the Indispensable Midwife

By: Joy Marini, Director of Corporate Contributions for Johnson & Johnson, Maternal and Child Health 

midwives.jpgOne day after the International Day of the Midwife, I am gathering with colleagues in Africa to discuss how we can help address the shortage of global health workers.

In sub-Saharan Africa, many women give birth alone, and without a skilled attendant such as a midwife, there is no one to address the complications of child delivery or to advise a pregnant woman to seek more skilled care. In fact, more women in this region die during pregnancy and childbirth than any other place on earth – claiming as many as one in eight lives. Read more...

International Day of the Midwife

By: Janna Oberdorf, Director of Communications and Outreach for Women Deliver

Today, May 5th, is International Day of the Midwife. The world needs midwives now more than ever. The World Health Organization, UN agencies and other global partners have identified that midwives are key to achieving reductions in maternal and newborn deaths and disabilities globally, yet there is a serious shortage. Read more... and get inspired by three midwives honored on the Women Deliver 100 list of the most inspiring people delivering for girls and women, below.

Juliette_Coulibaly.jpgImtiaz_Kamal.jpgdorothy-ngoma.JPG

Juliette Coulibaly, Côte d'Ivoire / Imtiaz Kamal, Pakistan / Dorothy Ngoma, Malawi

Celebrate Solutions: Motorcycle Ambulances for Mothers

By: Madeline Taskier, Partnership Coordinator at Women Deliver

When a woman experiences a pregnancy complication such as pre-term labor, postpartum hemorrhage, or obstructed labor, her life often depends on getting to a healthcare facility fast. But in the hardest-to-reach areas of the world, there are few affordable or available ambulance services willing to travel long distances to pick up the woman. This transportation delay significantly increases a woman’s risk of dying or experiencing a serious injury during childbirth. Read more...

One Year Anniversary of Sierra Leone’s Free Health Care Initiative

On April 27, 2010, Sierra Leone launched a free health care initiative for pregnant women, new mothers, and young children under the age of five. How did a country with a barely functioning health system following more than a decade of brutal civil war manage this and what have the results been? In two new articles, John Donnelly, Senior Consultant for MLI, investigates these questions. Read more…

Winners Announced for the Women Bloggers Deliver Competition

Blogger_Logo.JPGWe are so excited to announce the winners of the “Women Bloggers Deliver” competition! Over the past few weeks, we received over 250 applications from bloggers around the world – from California to Kenya, and from Mexico to Iraq. The competition, a partnership between Women Deliver and Vestergaard Frandsen, was held to draw focus and attention to the just launched Carbon for Water project, a public health intervention that will contribute significantly to health and development efforts that are transforming the lives of families and communities hard hit by the lack of clean water. The three winning bloggers will accompany community workers as they distribute LifeStraw® Family water filters to almost a million households in Kakamega, Kenya. Read more...

A Comprehensive Program to Prevent Cervical Cancer in Rwanda

The Government of Rwanda, together with QIAGEN and Merck, launched a comprehensive national cervical cancer prevention program that includes vaccination with GARDASIL for appropriate girls 12 to 15 years of age and modern molecular diagnostic screening for women between the ages of 35 and 45 in Kigali, Rwanda. Rwanda is the first nation in Africa to offer a comprehensive prevention program that incorporates both HPV vaccination and HPV testing. Read more...

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