Getting Down to Business: Harnessing the Reach of the Private Sector to Deliver Affordable, Quality

By: Dr. Priya Agrawal, Executive Director, Merck for Mothers

As the saying goes, “If better is possible, good is not enough.” This is certainly the case with efforts to reduce maternal mortality, which is not declining fast enough.

One area where I believe we can do “better” in delivering maternal health services is within the local private health sector.

In many developing countries – like India, Nigeria, and Uganda – most people get their healthcare from private providers. When people are in need of care, they often turn to a local doctor or nurse because of flexible hours; or visit a nearby pharmacy because it’s convenient; or perhaps even get care from a community health worker traveling door-to-door who they know and trust. Read more...

Time to Bridge the Gap for Women’s Health

By: Serra Sippel and Zeda Rosenberg; Originally posted on Huffington Post

Nearly 20 years ago, the global community gathered at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo and declared -- for the first time -- that a woman's right and ability to control her reproductive health was fundamental to her well-being and key to global development. That meeting sparked two decades of advances for women, and the pace has been accelerating. In just the past year, the London Summit on Family Planning led to unprecedented pledges to increase access to products and services for women in developing countries, a UN Commission called for increased access to life-saving maternal health products, and the UN created new policy standards to end violence against women and girls. Read more...

Partner Spotlight: The Private Provider is Essential to Improving the Health of Women and Children

By: Susan Mitchell, Vice President, International Health, Abt Associates and Director, Strengthening Health Outcomes through the Private Sector Project

Often overlooked, the private provider is essential to improving the health of women and children.

We’ve passed the 1,000-day mark to meet the Millennium Development Goals, and it is clear we need to bring all our resources to bear if we are to come close to achieving our goals. Effective engagement of the private sector is key. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: PATH Develops Simple, Affordable Technologies for Mothers


On the eve of the Women Deliver conference, our thoughts turn to the world’s mothers. At PATH, we’re dedicated to developing simple, affordable technologies to make sure becoming a mother is a time of joy the world over.

In some parts of the world—notably sub-Saharan Africa—childbirth remains an extremely dangerous time in a woman’s life. Some 300,000 women worldwide die each year just before or after delivery. Excessive obstetric bleeding—postpartum hemorrhage—causes 1 in 4 of these deaths. Read more...


Men, Step Up on Family Planning

By: Babatunde Osotimehin, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund; Originally posted on CNN Opinion

Our failure to give women in certain parts of the world the ability to decide the timing and number of their children is deeply damaging -- not just for the women themselves but for societies, too. Lifting the obstacles is not something that can be tackled half-heartedly.

Modern family planning programs were introduced widely in the developed world decades ago. Providing voluntary family planning is one of the most cost-effective ways of improving health. Yet, over 200 million women, overwhelmingly in the poorest countries, who want access to modern family planning still can't get this help. Read more...

The Lancet: Women Deliver Special Issue

The Lancet today [Friday 17 May, 2013] publishes a special theme issue ahead of the 2013 Women Deliver conference, to be held May 28 – 30 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  Women Deliver brings together voices from around the world to call for action to improve the health and well-being of girls and women, and the latest issue of The Lancet highlights some of the latest research and views on maternal health. Read more...

Making Reproductive Rights a Global Priority

By Dr. Gamal Serour, DAl Azhar University; Originally posted on Al Arabiya

On April 5th, the world began the 1,000-day countdown to the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) deadline. Created in 2000, the MDGs spurred action from governments, international organizations, and civil society. In recent years, we have cut the global poverty rate in half, reduced the prevalence of deadly diseases, improved sanitation, narrowed the gender gap, and more. Although we have made progress toward these Goals, there is still much to be done, especially for the girls and women of the Muslim world. Read more...

Partner Spotlight: Achieving Real Change for Women and Girls

By: Dr. Helene D. Gayle, President and CEO of CARE USA and Dr. Julia Newton-Howes, President and CEO of CARE Australia

Next month, representatives from leading NGOs, advocates, government officials and donors will gather at the Women Deliver 2013 Conference in Kuala Lumpur to ensure that the health and rights of girls and women remain at the forefront of global humanitarian and development agendas.

Since the first conference in 2007, there has been an unprecedented expansion of global commitments to the health and welfare of women and girls. Real progress has been made indicated by a 47 percent decline in maternal mortality worldwide between 1990 and 2010. Read more...

Partner Spotlight: Vouchers - Investing in Women’s Health

By: Ben Bellows, Associate, Population Council, Reproductive Health Programme

When women survive, families, communities, and countries thrive. Investing in the health and well-being of women and girls should be a top development priority. Yet progress toward meeting Millennium Development Goal 5, which calls for improving maternal health, lags furthest behind all eight MDGs. Read more...


The Twitter Chat: Girls and Women As Catalysts for Change

Girls and women are catalysts for change (#girls4change). When girls and women are educated, healthy, and empowered, they invest back into their families, communities, and nations. We know it’s true – when girls and women survive, the world thrives. That’s why we want to make sure girls and women are a focal point in the TEDxChange 2013 discussions. 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...

Selected Presenters to Showcase Methods at Women Deliver 2013 Tech & Tech

The Techniques and Technology (Tech & Tech) is a new and exciting feature at Women Deliver 2013, co-hosted by PATH and Women Deliver. It offers a platform for informing and demonstrating to the conference public innovative and useful tools or products improving the health and well-being of girls and women. The co-hosts received many innovative entries from sponsors and exhibitors, from which the most useful and relevant to the Women Deliver 2013 public were chosen. We are excited about the line-up of important methods that will be shared with an expected 5,000 conference attendees. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Leveraging Personal Relationships for Girls and Women

By: Lynn ElHarake, Women Deliver

Muslims hold mothers in high esteem, not just for the burden they endure during pregnancy and childbirth, but also for the key role they play in families, communities and societies overall. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) himself taught the followers of Islam that “paradise lies at the feet of the mother,” ensuring mothers a special place in the religion.

Yet, the disappointing reality is that despite the importance placed on mothers in Islam, six of the ten countries making up 60 percent of the global maternal deaths are majority-Muslim nations. Afghanistan, Chad, Sierra Leone, Somalia and South Sudan are some of the most dangerous places in the world for mothers to give birth. That is why in 2010, the Muslim Agency for Development Education (MADE) in Europe – a Muslim-led movement of young people leading the fight against global poverty and injustice – decided to launch At Our Mothers’ Feet, a campaign that aims to raise awareness within Muslim community in the United Kingdom about global maternal deaths. Read more...

Women Deliver Announces Cinema Corner Finalists for Women Deliver 2013

On International Women’s Day, Women Deliver is pleased to announce the filmmakers who are invited to screen their work at Cinema Corner, a special feature of the Women Deliver 2013 global conference. These films will tell the stories behind Women Deliver’s mission of reducing maternal mortality and improving access to reproductive health, and they will help conference participants connect to these key issues. This year, nearly 200 inspiring and informative films were submitted for consideration. Read more...

Women Who Dare: Jill Sheffield Helps Make Maternal Health a Global Priority

By: Jaime-Alexis Fowler, Associate Director of Public Relations and Online Communications at Pathfinder International; Originally posted on Pathfinder International

This post is part of Pathfinder's "Women Who Dare" series in celebration of International Women's Day 2013.

Jill Sheffield is the founder and President of Women Deliver, an international advocacy organization dedicated to advancing political action around and investment in maternal health. Jill is a tireless advocate for women’s health who credits her time spent in a Kenyan maternity hospital as the inspiration for her work. Jill’s daring work has been a contributing factor to increased international attention to maternal mortality, an area of continued need given the stalled progress on lowering maternal mortality.  Read more...

Women Deliver Highlights Social Enterprises That Improve the Health and Wellbeing of Girls and Women

For International Women’s Day, global online voters selected 10 inspiring start-up enterprises to compete in the Women Deliver Social Enterprise Challenge in May 2013

Global advocacy organization Women Deliver today announced the finalists of the Women Deliver 25, an online competition that features innovative social enterprises that benefit girls and women around the world. More than 13,500 votes were cast online to select ten organizations to receive scholarships to the Women Deliver 2013 conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (May 28-30, 2013), where they will participate in the Women Deliver Social Enterprise Challenge. Read more...

Women Deliver 25: Social Enterprises That Deliver for Girls and Women (2013)

Community Work Pays Off For Varsity Students

By: Sharifa Kalokola; Originally posted on The Citizen

The author, Sharifa Kalokola, is a Women Deliver 2013 conference scholarship recipient. The article features two of Women Deliver's 100 Young Leaders from Tanzania, Florence Mwitwa and Maureen Anyago Oduor.

It turns out that being voted a class monitor, prefect or student leader in primary, high school and university might actually be a good predictor of one’s success later in life. For many world leaders today, leadership did not come when they already had grey hair – it all started in school. Academic achievement is part of the success story, but it’s not the whole story. This is the wisdom that drives Florence Mwitwa and Maureen Anyago, two 27-year-old university students, who were recently selected to represent the country in the 2013 Women Deliver conference Malaysia later in May. Read more...

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...

Celebrate Solutions: “Foot Soldiers of Change” Bring Healthcare to Rural Women

By: Joanna Hoffman, Women Deliver

What do the Copper Canyon of Mexico’s Sierra Madre and Karnali Zone in Western Nepal have in common? Both are remote, rural areas where a trip to the doctor is an arduous journey and most women deliver their babies at home, alone. Thanks to One Heart World-Wide, these sites are also the locations for its Foot Soldiers of Change program, which has trained local people to help over 2,000 pregnant women access trained birth attendants and receive emergency care. Read more...

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