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2015+: Reclaiming A Seat At The Table

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.

2015+.JPGIt 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...

Celebrate Solutions: Leveraging Online Communities to Raise Awareness

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...

Celebrate Solutions: Volunteers Play Key Role in Vital Registration in Ghana

By: Mariko Rasmussen, Communications Specialist at Women Deliver

ghana_mother.jpgMany developing countries struggle to address their health needs without a complete picture of what those health needs are. The determinants of maternal mortality can be attributed to direct, indirect or underlying factors; it is important to identify the causes of pregnancy-related deaths to ensure resources are allocated most effectively to specific intervention and prevention strategies. But what do you do if you don’t have that data? Ghana is working to increase coverage of civil registration and quality of death attribution by training community-based volunteers. Read more...

If you were born as an African baby…

By: Joy Lawn, Save the Children; Originally posted on the Healthy Newborn Network (HNN) here

If you were born today in Africa, you would face the same risk of dying in your first month of life as if you were born during World War II in Great Britain. That’s 11 times greater risk than British babies face today, seven decades later. Somalia is Africa’s most dangerous country to be born, with a risk almost 20 times higher. PLoS Medicine has just published a new study on newborn deaths by the World Health Organization, Save the Children and partners showing that, increasingly, a baby’s chance of surviving the first month of life depend on where that baby is born. Read more...

2015+: Delivering Health for Women and Children

By: Susana Edjang, Project Manager for Every Woman Every Child effort in the United Nations’ Secretary-General’s Global Health Team

2015+.JPGAs people across the globe deliberate, whose perspective should be sought out and how can their participation be ensured?

I would like to think that everyone – no matter the background, gender, ethnic group or age – stops to think about the value of the lives of those mothers, sisters, friends, partners and daughters, and sons, that someone just like us loses unnecessarily every day due to preventable causes. The good news is that today we are doing more than just thinking or talking about it. The Every Woman Every Child effort, spear-headed by the UN Secretary-General, aims to ensure that we all work together and that our efforts towards saving and improving the lives of women and children, are better coordinated and enhanced putting into action the Global Strategy for Women and Children’s Health. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: In Angola, Fighting Malaria and Building Maternity Wards to Save Lives

By: Mariko Rasmussen, Communications Specialist at Women Deliver

Angolan_Mother.jpgIn Angola, child and maternal mortality rates are among the highest in the world. There are multiple causes for this dire distinction, and Pathfinder has implemented programs to help address two of the most prominent – malaria and a lack of access to safe delivery facilities. Although malaria is preventable, it is a major cause of maternal and newborn illness and death in the country. Read more…

The Born Healthy Initiative: Giving Everyone the Best Start in Life

Newborn health is intrinsically linked to the health of the mother and the care she receives before, during and immediately after giving birth. As deaths from infectious diseases fall, they are replaced by birth defects as the leading cause of childhood death. Every year, around eight million babies are born with birth defects, and at least three million children die. Many more face a lifetime of disability, poverty and stigma. 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...

 

Celebrate Solutions: Accelerating the Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Morocco

Morocco_Mother.jpgBy: Rati Bishnoi, Special Projects Intern at Women Deliver

The Moroccan Ministry of Health last week hosted a scientific meeting to share lessons on its success in reducing maternal mortality by 60 percent since 1990—a success that has won it the distinction of being “one of a small group of countries ‘on track’ to achieve MDG 5 by 2015,” according to UNFPA. Read more...

NPR Summer Series on Maternal and Child Health

This summer, NPR’s afternoon newsmagazine All Things Considered is doing a summer-long series called “Beginnings: Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Beyond.” A far-reaching collection of reports and features looking at medical, cultural and economic aspects of birth around the world, "Beginnings" will air Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays through August 2011. Read more...

ViiV Healthcare Awards Small Grants from Positive Action for Children Fund

ViiV Healthcare announced today that it has awarded £1 million to 82 projects in 21 countries across the globe aimed at improving the health and welfare of women, children, and families affected by HIV in small grants from the Positive Action for Children’s Fund. With this large number of smaller community grants, the Positive Action for Children Fund hopes to stimulate grassroots community action in support of global PMTCT (Preventing Mother to Child Transmission) community efforts to eliminate vertical transmission of HIV. Read more...

New Global Plan launched to save the lives of mothers and children from AIDS-related deaths

Yesterday, world leaders met at the UN to unveil a Global Plan designed to eliminate new HIV infections among children by 2015 and to keep their mothers alive. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, former US President Bill Clinton, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé and United States Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby launched the Plan along with UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassadors Annie Lennox and Naomi Watts. Read more...

G8 Leaders Recommit to Improve Maternal Health and Reduce Child Mortality

The 37th G8 Summit was held in Deauville, France from May 26-27, 2011. The three priorities of the French Presidency of the G8 Summit were the internet and green growth, international peace and security and partnership with Africa. Though health was not a priority of the G8 this year, the Deauville statement reaffirmed a commitment to improving maternal health and reducing child mortality, most notably through the Muskoka Initiative for Maternal, Newborn and Child health launched in 2010. Read more...

Keeping Promises, Measuring Results: Health Accountability Report Presented at World Health Assembly

Geneva, Switzerland - The United Nations Commission on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health presented their report, Keeping Promises, Measuring Results, and recommendations to increase the likelihood that pledges for women's and children's health are honoured and that resources are spent in the most effective way to save lives. The advance copy of the report was presented at a technical briefing today during the 64th World Health Assembly. Read more...

Survival of women and newborns in crisis

BY: Kate Kerber and Ribka Amsalu; Originally posted on the Healthy Newborn Network (HNN) here

Imagine you are eight months pregnant with your third child with two other young children at home. The ground starts moving violently beneath you and panic sets in. You flee your collapsing home with your children. The aftershocks are intense and dramatic. You have lost family members and friends in the chaos and confusion. The earthquake devastates the healthcare system, leaving you no choice but to deliver your baby alone, or if you are fortunate, in a mobile or temporary clinic. Read more...

Save the Children’s 2011 State of the World’s Mothers Report

What are the world's best and worst places to be a mother? The 12th annual Mothers' Index analyzes health, education and economic conditions for women and children in 164 countries. This report identifies countries that are lagging behind in the race to save lives. It also shows that effective solutions to this challenge are affordable – even in the world’s poorest countries. Read more...

Women and Children to Benefit from New Recommendations to Improve Health Accountability

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

DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA, 2 May 2011 – New recommendations calling for an unprecedented level of accountability to save the lives of more women and children in developing countries were agreed today by the United Nations Commission on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health. These new approaches will help ensure that pledges are honoured and resources spent in the most effective way to save lives. 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…

World Malaria Day: A Focus on Women and Children

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

Today is World Malaria Day—and there is much to celebrate. Over the past decade, malaria cases have drastically declined and deaths from malaria have been reduced. As we celebrate the many successes of the past decade in fighting malaria around the world, it’s important to put a spotlight on those who are most vulnerable to malaria—pregnant women and their children. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Allowing Community-Driven Ideas to Improve Care

By: Rati Bishnoi, Special Projects Intern at Women Deliver

Over the last two years, thousands of people from all walks of life—from computer engineers to tribal women—in Malawi, Sierra Leone, and Orissa state in India have lent their voices and ideas to improve the quality of maternal and child health care in their communities.

These three areas have something in common – they house some of the worst maternal and child mortality rates in the world. But the barriers and challenges women face to quality care differ for many reasons. Recognizing that community members—including those not usually associated with maternal health care—have a valuable perspective to offer as well as a stake in improving the lives of women and girls, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2009 funded a global partnership between UNICEF and Concern Worldwide to find bold, new ideas for addressing gaps in the delivery of quality care. Read more...

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