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Celebrate Solutions: OBGYNs Improving Maternal & Infant Health in Ethiopia

By: Madeline Taskier, University of Michigan, Global Initiatives

In Ethiopia, women are 200 times more at risk of dying from pregnancy-related causes than women in developed countries. Almost a third of all maternal death and morbidity in Ethiopia is caused by unsafe abortion procedures., and the country has a strikingly high health workforce shortage. Due in part to these factors, Ethiopia has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. Read more...

Leaders’ Support Key to Success of Breastfeeding Advocacy

By: Rehema Namukose, Women Deliver

This week, the Impatient Optimists blog, and a subsequent Facebook post by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, spotlighted the politics of breastfeeding promotion. For leaders who haven’t joined the cause to promote breast feeding, now is the time. It is estimated that over 800,000 child deaths in the developing world could be prevented if mothers are encouraged and supported with breastfeeding. These deaths can be avoided if we unite to support mothers in giving their children better lives from breastfeedingRead more...

New Report Tracing History of Maternal Health Efforts Mentions Impact of Women Deliver

A new report, commissioned by the MacArthur Foundation, and entitled “Maternal Health from 1985-2013: Hopeful Progress and Enduring Challenges,” traces the history of global efforts to define priorities, mobilize action and measure progress toward reducing the impact of maternal mortality. The paper, by independent consultant Tim Thomas, highlights major moments in policy, funding, programming, and clinical and social science research over the nearly 30 years since the World Health Organization (WHO) first published maternal mortality estimates and The Lancet published the groundbreaking article “Maternal mortality – a neglected tragedy: Where is the M in MCH?Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Improved Health, Flat Bellies, and Nutritious Food

By: Farhana Ali, Catapult; Originally posted on Catapult.org

Gina has three children and although she doesn’t want any more, her husband refuses to pay for contraceptives because he believes there are more important uses for the money. Since Gina doesn’t earn her own income, convincing her husband to change his mind proved futile. That’s when she came across Roots of Health—a nonprofit that works to enhance the lives of girls, women, and their communities in the Philippines, through educational, medical, and nutritional support—that was providing free contraceptives. Gina finally felt in control of her own body. This is just one example of the impact Roots of Health projects have made for girls & women. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Expanding Universal Health Coverage to Save Lives

By: Dr. Jeanette Vega, Managing Director for Health, Rockefeller Foundation

In just over a year since the UN General Assembly passed a historic resolution on Universal Health Coverage (UHC), we have seen incredible momentum around the topic. UHC is fast becoming one of the most important and relevant issues in the global health sector, setting the stage for UHC’s prioritization in the post-2015 development agenda. Now, global health leaders Jonathan Quick, Jonathan Jay, and Ana Langer have authored a new essay in PLoS Medicine that highlights the importance of Improving Women’s Health through Universal Health Coverage. Building on the Lancet Series on Universal Health Coverage and a recent  on UHC and equity, the authors argue that UHC is a powerful driver for women's health. Read more...

Jill Sheffield and Katja Iversen in New Issue of GHD Magazine

The winter issue of the Center for Global Health and Diplomacy (GHD) Magazine is now available, and includes a special feature on the future of women and girls. In this section, which begins on page 36, articles focus on a range of topics including the future of development for girls and women; child marriage; child abuse; gender-based violence; mobile technology as an advocacy tool; and crowdfunding as a mechnism to save women's lives. Women Deliver President Jill Sheffield and incoming CEO Katja Iversen authored a piece on page 38 entitled A Dream of Progress for Girls and Women, which takes a forward look at the new development framework, and at how investing in girls and women is an investment in a better future for all. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Saving Mothers’ Lives with Misoprostol

By: Sara Pellegrom, Women Deliver

Liberia is one of several countries where USAID’s Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP) and Jhpiego have rolled out a new program to distribute misoprostol to prevent postpartum hemorrhage. Liberia was chosen as a recipient country because of its high maternal mortality ratio of 994 deaths per 100,000 live births, high rate of home births, and limited access to health care facilities.

The six-month program, with support from the Liberian government, is designed to support the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in fulfilling its maternal health objectives by building the capacity of health workers to implement the initiative throughout the country. Read more...

The Lancet Launches Report on Investing in Health

In recognition of the 20th anniversary of the 1993 World Development Report, the Lancet commission revisited the case for investing in health. As a result of their findings, the commission developed a new investment framework to reach substantial health gains by 2035. The framework, along with key recommedations, is included with the report Global Health 2035: A World Converging within a Generation, launched today at events in London, Johannesburg and Tunis. Read more...

New Partnerships for Improved Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health

The Alliance for Reproductive, Maternal and Newborn Health, which is a unique partnership that aims to accelerate progress towards improved reproductive, maternal, and child health outcomes, is pleased to announce the publication of two Partnership Profiles. These profiles were developed through a collaborative process among the four Alliance founding partners: USAID, DFID, AusAID and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Partnership Profile series intended to highlight innovative and catalytic partnerships among donors, governments and implementing partners. Read more...

A Fistula-Free Generation Is Possible

By: Pamela Barnes and Dr. Joseph Ruminjo; Originally posted on Huffington Post

We are thrilled to be in Uganda to recognize the achievements of EngenderHealth's Fistula Care project, the largest U.S. government-funded initiative to treat and prevent obstetric fistula in more than 10 countries throughout Africa and Asia. We are here with our incredible partners -- government officials, representatives of nongovernmental organizations, doctors, community health providers and hospital administrators -- to share lessons learned and chart the way forward toward achieving a fistula-free generation. Read more...

Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development Announces Award Nominees

The Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development today announced 22 Round 3 award nominees from a pool of 53 finalists – innovators who descended on Washington for three days to showcase bold, new ideas to save the lives of mothers and newborns in developing countries with aspirations of international funding to realize their vision. Read more...

Girls’ & Women’s Health and Rights in Focus at Women Deliver 2013 in Kuala Lumpur

Malaysian Prime Minister Honourable Dato' Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak and other global luminaries
open largest conference on girls and women of the decade

World Bank and Guttmacher Institute release new data on the value of investing in girls and women

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 28 May 2013 — Today, more than 4,000 global leaders and advocates from nearly 150 countries gathered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for Women Deliver 2013, the largest conference of the decade focused on the health and wellbeing of girls and women. The opening sessions of this three-day event highlighted the critical need to invest in girls and women to spur development worldwide.

Malaysian Prime Minister Honorable Dato' Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak delivered welcoming remarks and discussed Malaysia’s efforts to ensure equal rights and opportunities for women as a critical component of the nation’s development and economic growth. The Prime Minister highlighted Malaysia’s success in reducing maternal mortality, and offered to share lessons learned with countries working to improve maternal health. Read more...

Women’s Rights in Global Cartoons

By: Liza Donnelly, Forbes Contributor; Originally posted on Forbes

The global advocacy group, Women Deliver, is hosting its third conference, May 28-30, 2013, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This conference brings together thousands of activists, world leaders, healthcare professionals, corporate leaders, NGOs and global media outlets from around the world to discuss how to help improve the lives of women and girls. For the event, I was honored to be invited to curate an exhibit of international cartoonist’s art on the subject of women’s rights. The artwork, gathered from cartoonists from 22 different countries, is also collected and published in a book, titled, “Women Deliver, The World Receives.” It was wonderful to be given the opportunity to invite my colleagues to submit their artwork on the subject of women and women’s rights. Cartoons can get at the heart of difficult and important subjects in ways that words often cannot. It takes a village, and the village usually has a cartoonist or two. Read more...

Women Deliver Catalyzes Conversations With Young People about Reproductive Health

By: Purnima Mane, President and CEO of Pathfinder International; Originally posted on Huffington Post

The first official day of the 3rd annual Women Deliver Conference just wrapped up. Perhaps the biggest takeaway here so far is the incredible presence and engagement of young people.

More than 100 young leaders have travelled from around the world to share their experiences, energy, and wisdom. Each of these young leaders is working to improve the health and well-being of women and girls in their communities. They joined a catalyzing pre-conference event on Monday that inspired Pathfinder's Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Advisor Callie Simon to share, "These young leaders here rock my world. Days like these that make it all worth it." Read more...

Harvesting Rainwater Helps Keep Girls Safe at School in Uganda

By: Gemma Bulos, Director of the Global Women’s Water Initiative

This post is part of a series created in partnership by WASH Advocates and Women Deliver. For more information, please contact Cecilia Snyder.

**Are you a journalist at Women Deliver? Contact Cecilia Snyder to arrange an interview of Gemma and other great leaders in Women and WASH!**

At Amuria High School in Uganda, even though female students live at the school as boarders, perfect attendance is not guaranteed. Girl children are required to fetch water during school hours and they can sometimes miss up to three hours of school. Along the way to retrieve water, they also face the threat of violent attack, including sexual assault. What is more, since there is no water on the school grounds, their meals can be served late, and during menstruation they can miss up to a week of studies because they can’t clean themselves properly. In fact, without a reliable supply of clean water to drink, as many as five girls per day faint from dehydration. Read more...

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

By: PATH

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...

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