Yes We Can, And This Is Why We Do It Every Day

By: Karen Beattie, Director of Fistula Care and Associate Vice President of Strategy and Impact, EngenderHealth; Originally posted on EngenderHealth

Reflections from Karen Beattie, a lifelong global women’s health advocate on the closing ceremony of the Global Maternal Health Conference, 2013
It was the end of three days of meetings, and I seriously considered skipping out on the closing plenary session. But – I knew Dr. Mahmoud Fathalla would be speaking and I have learned that one should never miss an opportunity to hear his thoughts. For those uninitiated, Dr. Fathalla is a professor at Assiut University in Egypt, a former head of the reproductive health division at WHO, and the father of the Safe Motherhood initiative. Read more...

Top 10 Maternal Health Highlights in 2010

Looking back over the past year, we have much to celebrate. The following list is not exhaustive, but recaps some of the most prominent maternal health-related milestones and events of 2010. As we push forward into 2011, we celebrate both the successes and solutions of the past year, as well as the barriers to success we can learn from in order to streamline our strategies to best reach MDG 5. Click through to read the top 10 highlights.

10 Ways to Get Involved and Take Action for Youth

It’s been five months since the Women Deliver 2010 conference where the world put a spotlight on maternal health and the approximately 350,000 women who die from complications due to pregnancy and childbirth every year. We need to keep that energy going! Need some inspiration and some ideas? Read on for 10 actions and opportunities you can take right now:

Going Digital: Taking the Maternal Health Community Online

By: Janna Oberdorf, Communications Manager for Women Deliver; orginally posted at the MHTF Blog

The Global Maternal Health Conference has ended – and ended with a bang. The “Maternal health: digital” panel closed the conference with exciting, new, and innovative ways for using technology for global health and maternal health issues. Advances in tools for cross-media storytelling, social networking, digital games, real-time messaging, and mobile and location-aware technologies are being adapted to fit the needs of the maternal health community—and are helping to fuel the increased momentum around the issue.

Brief Insights From the Global Maternal Health Conference 2010: Day Two

Written by Kate Mitchell of the Maternal Health Task Force; originally posted at MHTF Blog

Plenary one at the Global Maternal Health Conference in Delhi was about finding common ground amidst two sets of maternal mortality estimates. Much like plenary one, plenary two, Community and facility interventions: reframing the discussion, was also about finding a common ground. It was about closing the divide between those who advocate for community-based care and those who advocate for facility based care–an issue that has caused major debates in the maternal health community for decades. This session was about reframing the discussion from “one or the other” to “both”. Plenary speakers called for an understanding that improving global maternal health must be about striking the right balance–and scaling up evidence-based interventions both at the community level and within facilities.

Click through to read brief insights from the second plenary.

Making Outpatient Abortion Services a Reality

By: Janna Oberdorf, Communications Manager for Women Deliver; originally posted at the MHTF Blog

Every year, an estimated 20 million unsafe abortions take place. And of all maternal deaths, unsafe abortion accounts for 13%. Imagine if we could change that. Imagine if we could make a serious dent in the deaths and morbidities that are caused from botched abortions, from unhygienic surgeries, and from unskilled providers.

Now, imagine if we could change that with a few simple, low-cost pills. That’s what the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol are doing for women around the world.

I am 27. And I am a maternal health advocate.

By: Janna Oberdorf, Communications Manager for Women Deliver; originally posted at MHTF Blog

These are two things I’m very proud of. I’m proud to be young (or at least young-ish) and passionate about women and mothers. I’m proud that when I see images of women giving birth in low-quality health facilities, I want to yell at the world. I’m proud that the first time I learned what fistula is, I wanted to smash my computer screen and say, “Why didn’t I even know about this before?” This is a fight that I’m ready and willing to take – the fight for mothers around the world.

But why are there so few young people involved in maternal health, at the research level, at the advocacy level, and at the policy level?

Clean Birth Kits: Do We Need Them?

By: Janna Oberdorf, Communications Manager for Women Deliver; originally posted at the MHTF Blog

Clean Birth Kits. It seems like a no-brainer. And, as one audience member at the Global Maternal Health Conference said, “There’s no doubt these would work.”

But, there is doubt, as I learned at today’s session, “Clean birth kits: do we need them?”. There’s serious speculation on what impact and effect clean birth kits (CBKs) would have on saving lives. The session panelists presented a review of the existing evidence on clean birth practices and the potential role for CBKs in supporting these preventive practices, and they found serious gaps in knowledge and research.

Brief Insights From the Global Maternal Health Conference 2010

By: Kate Mitchell from the Maternal Health Task Force; orginally posted at the MHTF Blog

Today (August 30, 2010) marked the first day of the Global Maternal Health Conference in Delhi. Throughout the day, the nearly 700 conference participants–made up of maternal health researchers, programmers, advocates, social entrepreneurs, policymakers, and  young professionals–shared a number of insights, lessons learned, recommendations and innovative ideas for improving the health of women around the world.

Click through to read brief insights from the Inaugural Ceremony speeches...

Health Experts Convene at Global Maternal Health Conference 2010

From August 30 to September 1, more than 600 maternal health experts will gather in Delhi, India, for the Global Maternal Health Conference 2010, the first international technical conference devoted exclusively to maternal health. Hosted by the Maternal Health Task Force at EngenderHealth and the Public Health Foundation of India, the conference aims to increase consensus and coordination around the evidence, programs, and advocacy needed to advance maternal health. According to latest estimates, more than 342,000 women worldwide die due to preventable pregnancy or childbirth complications every year.


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