New State of the World’s Mother Report Shows Where Mothers are Dying, How They Can be Thriving

Every day, 800 women and 18,000 young children die from mostly preventable causes, and more than half of these deaths take place in high-risk areas of conflict and natural disaster, according to Save the Children’s new State of the World’s Mothers Report. This annual ranking of the health and well-being of mothers and children worldwide focuses on the impact of humanitarian crisis on maternal, newborn, and child health, and lists the best and worst places to be a mother. Read more...

Partner Spotlight: Inter-Agency Working Group on Reproductive Health in Crises

By: Inter-agency Working Group on Reproductive Health in Crises

The reproductive health (RH) needs of women, men and adolescents do not disappear when they are forced to flee their homes and communities as a result of conflict or natural disaster.  In fact, for many, the instability and violence often associated with displacement will increase their demand for RH services. When coupled with the increased barriers to care associated with conflict or disaster, among them: weakened or disrupted health systems; inadequate human resources, including a dearth of trained providers; and stock-outs of essential medical supplies, it is not surprising that eight of the 10 countries with the highest maternal mortality ratios in the world are also affected by fragility and conflict.1 Nine of the 10 countries with the highest under-five mortality rates are also currently experiencing or emerging from armed conflict.Read more...

World AIDS Day 2011: Funds Diminish, Epidemic Rages On

By: Joanna Hoffman, Special Projects Manager at Women Deliver

Today’s commemoration of World AIDS Day marks 30 years since the HIV/AIDS epidemic began, claiming nearly 30 million deaths around the world in the decades since. Progress towards averting deaths, through global partnerships and committed donors, has been heartening: close to 50% of those eligible for antiretroviral therapy now have access to lifesaving treatment, and new HIV infections have decreased by 21% since 1997. Overall, treatment has saved the lives of nearly 2.5 million people since 1995, bringing the world closer than ever before to UNAIDS’ goal of “getting to zero”- zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. Read more...

Corporate Buzz: Chickpeas Nourish Ethiopia’s Mothers, Children and Agricultural Economy

By: Rati Bishnoi, Special Projects Intern at Women Deliver

chickpeas.jpgCould chickpeas be a potential solution for meeting two of Ethiopia’s biggest challenges: child malnourishment and an underperforming economy?

PepsiCo, the World Food Programme (WFP), and USAID believe so. That’s why the company is entering into an innovative public-private partnership with the WFP and USAID to promote food and economic security in the east African nation. Under Enterprise EthioPEA, the three organizations will work with nearly 10,000 Ethiopian farmers to double chickpea yields by utilizing modern agricultural practices and better irrigation techniques. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Meeting the Reproductive Needs of Refugee Women

By: Rati Bishnoi, Special Projects Intern

Somali_Women.jpgIn 2008, while attempting to escape fighting in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, Fadhumo* fled the city with two of her seven children. After seeking shelter in the Bariga Bosasso refugee settlement, she was eventually reunited with her sister and remaining children.

Security was limited, however, and the then-pregnant Fadhumo was raped by two men. “I tried to fight them off but they were much stronger. They beat me viciously, breaking both my wrists. They raped me repeatedly without caring that I was pregnant,” Fadhumo told the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). As a result of the rape, Fadhumo lost her unborn child and fell into a deep depression. Her ability to support herself or her other children diminished. Thankfully, Fadhumo is now rebuilding her life, has re-launched her grocery business and joined a support group for rape survivors. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Mobile Community Health Workers Reach Ethnic Minorities in Burma

By: Madeline Taskier, Partnership Coordinator at Women Deliver

burma.jpgDecades of conflict between the military junta and ethnic minority groups in Burma have internally displaced approximately 440,000 people from their homes and forced them into informal settlements, but a network of community health workers are working to make a difference. The Mobile Obstetrics Maternal Health Workers (MOM) Project provides high-impact and mobile emergency obstetric care, family planning, and essential pre-natal care to women and families in these settlements. Read more...

The Guardian’s Development Journalism Competition Highlights Maternal Health

The Guardian newspaper has shortlisted three journalists for their coverage of how maternal, reproductive, and sexual health and rights shape the lives of girls and women and their communities as part of its fourth annual “International Development Journalism Competition.” Click through to learn 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...

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...

Celebrate Solutions: Reaching Female Refugees, the RAISE Project

By: Madeline Taskier, Partnership Coordinator at Women Deliver

Burma.JPGAccess to maternal health services is a challenge for many women in developing countries, but women in crisis settings are especially vulnerable to reproductive health risks and maternal health emergencies. Over 42 million people in the world are uprooted and living far from their home countries or regions for months or years at a time—almost half of them are women. Read more...

Mama: Using Text Messaging to Protect Maternal Health in Times of Crisis

Mama.GIFA new Facebook and SMS communications initiative, Mama: Together for Safe Births in Crises, was launched today by the Women’s Refugee Commission. The project addresses an important information gap for maternal health workers in emergencies, as identified by WRC research. Approximately 25 per cent of women of reproductive age in any displaced population are likely to be pregnant at any given time--the stress of being displaced coupled with the lack of skilled care heightens the risk these women face. Read more...

Emergency in Japan: Keeping Women and Mothers Safe and Healthy

japanearthquake.jpgA 9.0 magnitude earthquake, which is the largest to hit Japan since records began, hit the north-east of the country on 11 March 2011. It was followed by a series of strong aftershocks, and also triggered a massive tsunami, which has destroyed most of the cities and villages on the north-east coast of Japan. During periods following a major natural disaster, women often lose access to basic health services, as public health and clinical care infrastructure are disrupted. Read more...

mHealth Solutions to Improve Maternal Health

By: Madeline Taskier, Partnership Coordinator at Women Deliver

In developing countries there are currently 5 billion mobile phone subscriptions, nearly three times the amount in developed countries. Given the prevalence of mobile phone use and the overwhelming predominance (99%) of maternal deaths occurring in the developing world, what kind of potential does mHealth technology have to change the state of maternal health? According to the presenters at the Maternal Health Task Force Policy Series event on mHealth, the impact of mobile phone technology is far reaching, replicable, and cost-effective.

New UN Report: The State of World Population 2010

Effective peace-building requires women’s active participation, according to the The State of World Population 2010, published this past Wednesday by the United Nations Population Fund. The report’s release coincides with the anniversary of United Nations Security Council resolution 1325, a pivotal commitment to ending the abuse and marginalization of women in conflict and in peace-building initiatives.

Emergency in Pakistan: Over 500,000 Pregnant Women At Risk From Floods

Since early August, floods across Northwest Pakistan have cast out nearly 21 million people from their homes and villages. UNFPA estimates that there are 500,000 pregnant women in this displaced population. Everyday approximately 1,700 of these women go into labor and over 250 suffer complications during birth.

Silent Support is Not Enough, Speakers Say

By Joanne Omang

Political decision-makers will not invest in women’s health needs until their constituents insist on it, participants at the Women Deliver 2010 were reminded today.

In small breakout discussions and plenary sessions, speaker after speaker said “only squeaky wheels get any grease,” as one observer summed up.

Opponents of women’s reproductive rights “have created a visible and vocal constituency that makes politicians afraid to act on our concerns,” noted IPAS executive vice president Anu Kumar in a session on dealing with unsafe abortion. “Vocal and visible leaders in a vocal and visible constituency are critical aspects of moving forward.”  more...

Maternal Mortality: It’s Time for Our Leaders to Take Notice

By Martha Wainwright

Source: The Huffington Post

My story had a happy ending. Thousands more mothers would too if world leaders stick to a promise they made 40 years ago.

Once upon a time, I was working in the UK and seven months pregnant with my first child. After a show one evening, not feeling 100 percent, my husband Brad took me home to the place we were staying at in North London. I had been excited to get my last week of work over with and go home to the U.S. to prepare for our new arrival. But that night everything came crashing down. All plans flew out the window and Brad and I found ourselves in the emergency room at 2 a.m.

I was admitted right away, which scared me of course, and taken to the maternity unit. I was in pain and bleeding, but I felt calm -- believing, naively, that I was going to get out and still have a normal pregnancy. A midwife visited us and then the consultant. Then the pain became sharper, and my water broke. I yelled and the mood in the room went from calm and jovial to scary and serious. Brad took my hand and we realized that we weren't going anywhere.

Emergency in Haiti: Maternal Health Supplies Rushed to Disaster Areas

Port-au-Prince, Haiti – A major earthquake centered just 10 miles from Port-au-Prince has devastated the country, killing an estimated 200,000 people. Survivors are struggling to find necessary resources, such as food, water and health supplies. The Reproductive Health Response in Conflict (RHRC) Consortium estimates that there are approximately 63,000 pregnant women in Port-­au?Prince, 7,000 of whom will deliver in the coming month. Further, 15% (9,450 women) of all pregnant women will also require care for life threatening pregnancy complications.


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