The World Health Assembly, which took place this year from May 21-26, 2012, resulted in 21 newly adopted resolutions and three health-related decisions. The resolutions and decisions revolved around early marriage and young pregnancies, international health regulations, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), non-communicable diseases, and social determinants of health, and several other health- and disease-related topics. Read more...
June 12th, 2012
June 7th, 2012
By: Smita Gaith, Women Deliver
The creation of the MDG Health Alliance was recently announced by GBC Health, a private sector nonprofit coalition that works to improve health around the world. The announcement took place at their two-day GBCHealth Conference, in May.
The Alliance is working in alignment with the Millennium Development Goals targeting maternal and child health. According to the Alliance, there are 5 underlying initiatives, and they will work towards 7 main goals: 1) improve child health; 2) improve maternal health; 3) achieve near-zero malaria deaths; 4) achieve near-zero transmission of HIV from mother to child; 5) recruit, train, and equip one million community health workers; 6) save one million lives from TB-HIV co-infection; and 7) ensure universal access to reproductive health. Read more...
May 22nd, 2012
Affordable, life-saving medicines and health supplies with the potential to save millions of lives are not reaching the children and women who most need them. To help change this, members of the United Nations Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children will today review and finalize recommendations to help increase access, reduce costs, and increase demand for 13 products. Read more...
May 17th, 2012
This year’s thirteenth annual State of the World’s Mothers report features more than 60 countries and a foreword by USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah. Filled with ground-breaking research, this year’s report focuses on the importance of nutrition during the first 1,000 days between pregnancy and a child’s second birthday.
This year’s report also includes their annual Mother’s Index, ranking the best and worst countries in which to be a mother based on health and status indicators for women and children in 165 counties. Norway, as in 2011, ranks first; Niger, replacing Afghanistan in 2011, ranks last. The United States comes in at #25 among the 43 developed countries ranked. Eight of the 10 worst countries to be a mother are in sub-Saharan Africa. We must continue to work to ensure that moms everywhere can care for their kids. Read more...
April 26th, 2012
The US Agency for International Development (USAID), a member organization of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health has launched their “Every Child Deserves a 5th Birthday” campaign this week. According to the website, fifth birthdays are regarded as a milestone birthday after which one is much more likely to survive into adulthood. Seven million children die before their fifth birthday, and many of these are preventable deaths in developing countries. Read more...
April 5th, 2012
by Shafia Rashid; Originally posted on The FCI Blog
There is ample evidence illustrating that the health of a woman and her newborn baby are intimately connected. We know that:
- most maternal and newborn deaths are caused by the mother’s poor health before or during pregnancy or due to inadequate care in the critical hours, days, and weeks after birth
- when a woman dies in childbirth, her newborn baby is less likely to survive
Recent research conducted by Dr. Zulfiqar Bhutta and colleagues at the Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan confirms what we already know, and goes one step further: it identifies which maternal and newborn health interventions benefit both mother and newborn. These include: Read more...
April 4th, 2012
The 126th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly took place in Kampala, Uganda from March 31 to April 5. This meeting was the first time the IPU has debated a resolution on maternal, newborn and child health. The resolution was drafted in September by the governments of Canada, India, and Uganda, and is known as ‘Access to Health as a Basic Right: The Role of Parliaments in Addressing Key Challenges to Securing the Health of Women and Children.’ The IPU Assembly, which meets every year as a focal point for worldwide parliamentary dialogue, drew over 600 members of parliament from more than 120 countries to Kampala, Uganda. Read more...
March 23rd, 2012
NEW YORK, 23 March 2012 – UNICEF and UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, today launched a high-level commission to improve access to essential but overlooked health supplies that could save the lives of millions of women and children every year.
“Making sure that women and children have the medicines and other supplies they need is critical for our push to achieve the MDGs,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “The Commission will tackle an overlooked but vital aspect of health systems, and ensure that women and children are protected from preventable causes of death and disease.” Read more...
March 22nd, 2012
As follow-up to the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, Countdown to 2015 released Accountability for Maternal, Newborn & Child Survival: An update on progress in priority countries, with updated profiles on high-burden priority countries that account for over 95% of maternal and child deaths. The report will be launched at the 126th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, which takes place in Kampala, Uganda from 31 March through 5 April 2012. Read more...
March 6th, 2012
February 16th, 2012
What are the realities of 21st century pregnancy and childbirth? What factors affect if a woman’s labor has a successful, or tragic, outcome? Explore this issue in the Healthy Mama, Healthy Baby gallery in the International Museum of Women’s MAMA: Motherhood Around the Globe exhibition! Facts, art, multimedia, blogs and stories on the site all tell the story of motherhood around the globe.
In the video below, mothers from around the world share their stories of pregnancy and childbirth.
January 23rd, 2012
By: Mariko Rasmussen, Communications Specialist at Women Deliver
Gender can influence men’s and women’s health in profound ways; social expectations of what men and women should and should not do can directly affect attitudes and behaviors related to a wide variety of health issues. Often, it is men who decide the frequency and timing of sexual activity and whether or not to use contraceptives, sometimes through coercion or violence. Gender-based violence can contribute to the spread of HIV and sexually-transmitted infections (STIs), and lead to poor reproductive health outcomes for women. And because of women’s low status in many societies, maternal health services are not prioritized. Empowering women is a critical step to turning this around, but efforts cannot end there: men must also be actively engaged as partners in change. Read more...
January 5th, 2012
December 5th, 2011
By: Rati Bishnoi, Special Projects Intern
Two reasons—a lack of spare parts and too few highly trained technicians—are often cited as the causes of large numbers of out-of-service laboratory and medical equipment across the developing world. As a result of broken equipment, already burdened health systems find it increasingly challenging to accurately diagnose and treat patients.
This obstacle is particularly alarming as 2015, the deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), looms on the horizon. Strong, functioning health systems are essential to reaching the MDGs, and MDG 5 in particular. With this in mind, Duke University researchers from Robert Malkin’s Developing World Healthcare Technology Laboratory set out to better understand the problem of unused or underutilized medical equipment in developing countries. Read more...
December 1st, 2011
By: Alexander Jackson, originally posted on Baltimore Business Journal
A Johns Hopkins University affiliate has been awarded $1.6 million from the GE Foundation to support the development of lifesaving technologies for women and children in developing countries.
Jhpiego, a Baltimore-based international nonprofit, will use the money to create new products through its Innovation Development Program. Centered on maternal and child health, the program focuses on early-stage innovation and then, for selected projects, field-testing and product introduction. Read more...
November 17th, 2011
DHAKA, 17 November 2011 – Responding to demand from developing countries, the GAVI Alliance will take the first steps towards the introduction of Human papillomavirus and rubella vaccines, the GAVI Board announced on Thursday. Read more...
November 14th, 2011
By: Madeline Taskier, Strategic Partnerships Associate, Women Deliver
When Kakenya Ntaiya was 5 years old, she was engaged to be married. Growing up in Enoosaen, a rural Maasi village in southwestern Kenya, she helped her mother tend the farm and cattle, take care of her siblings, and gather water from the river. She rarely had the chance to attend school; only when her chores were completed.
In her village, like many others in Kenya, girls are expected to undergo female genital cutting (FGC), a coming-of-age ritual signifying womanhood at the age of puberty. After the ceremony has concluded, she is deemed ready for marriage. But Kakenya did not want to be married yet. She had dreams of going through primary and secondary school, going to college and becoming a teacher. Read more...
October 26th, 2011
Johannesburg, South Africa, October 24 – African Speakers of Parliaments and Presidents of Senate have unanimously adopted a landmark resolution on a Declaration of Commitment to prioritize parliamentary support for increased policy and budget action on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health in African countries. Read more...
October 19th, 2011
A Call for Engagement by the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Community
By: Alicia Ely Yamin is Director of the Program on the Health Rights of Women and Children at the Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University. She served on the 2011 PMNCH Commitments Report advisory Panel.
It is understandable that the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) communities have generally maintained a critical distance from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) process, as MDG 5 represented a dramatic departure from the hard-won, holistic vision of reproductive health set out in the 1994 Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and reaffirmed in the subsequent Beijing Declaration. Read more...
September 26th, 2011
By: Lindsey Taylor Wood, Communications Associate at Women Deliver
Throughout the past week, the Social Good Summit was held in New York City to coincide with the UN General Assembly and served as a platform to highlight new initiatives and causes that are using social media to leverage support for global development issues. Read more...