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Women, Adolescents, and Young People are Critical for Sustainable Development

By: Adeolu Ogunrombi, one of the Women Deliver 100 Young Leaders
Originally posted on Adeolu’s blog

nigeria.JPGThe truth that adolescent girls occupy the lowest rank in the hierarchy of gender power relationships and its effect on their holistic development is an issue of utmost importance and urgency. My mind went down memory lane and remembered an experience I had some years back while working with a health facility supported by the World Bank to provide care and treatment on HIV/AIDS in one of the North Central states, very close to Abuja the Federal Capital of Nigeria.

There was a time we noticed in the HIV counseling and testing unit that so many of our clients coming from a particular village within the suburb were testing positive for HIV. The incidence became of concern to me and my colleagues and we were curious to know why this was happening in a village that has little or no social infrastructure. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: When ‘B+’ is the Best Option

By: Dr. Aoife Kenny 

MalawiAoife.jpgAn estimated 1.5 million HIV-positive women become pregnant every year. Effective treatment is essential for reducing their chance of severe illness or death during pregnancy as well as reducing the chance of infecting their children with HIV. The best way to prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) is to ensure that medication is taken throughout the pregnancy and breastfeeding period. PMTCT is an essential component of three Millennium Development Goals: reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, and combating HIV/AIDS. Read more...


Obama’s Contraception Compromise Should Satisfy All Sides

Originally posted in the Daily News

By: Frances Kissling, Senior Advisor to Women Deliver

One of those thorny, negotiate-for-two-generations-and-still-kill-each-other battles has been going on for months in Washington over the definition of a religious institution and whether such groups will need to comply with administration policy requiring employers to offer contraceptive coverage to their employees. Read more...

Corporate Buzz: Lifeway Foods Joins Christy Turlington to Promote Maternal Health

By: Joanna Hoffman, Special Projects Manager 

Last week, Lifeway Foods announced the launch of its national Every Mother Counts Sweepstakes and fundraising campaign to support maternal health. Founded by model, filmmaker and maternal health advocate Christy Turlington Burns, Every Mother Counts is an advocacy and mobilization campaign to increase education and support for maternal health worldwide. 

Lifeway is a leading supplier of kefir and organic kefir cultured dairy products. Specially-marked bottles of Lifeway’s Lowfat Kefir will contain entry codes on the bottle cap, which can then be entered into the sweepstakes app at the Lifeway Kefir Facebook Page. All entries for the grand prize must be received before March 11 and the winner will be announced on March 14. Read more...

Global Health and Diplomacy (GHD) Magazine Launches at the World Economic Forum

ghd.gifDavos, Switzerland – January 25, 2012 - Global Health and Diplomacy (GHD), a publication that provides a forum for communication between heads of state, health ministers, first ladies, civil society leaders, the private sector and global health experts, was launched today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

This publication fills the existing gap in the dialogue between global health, diplomacy, development and security. For many years these discussions have been compartmentalized into different journals. Global health solutions need to be broad based and encompass all stakeholders, thus, a publication that allows government officials, civil society, the private sector and global health experts to engage, discuss and offer solutions is an absolute necessity. Read more...

10 Maternal Health Highlights of 2011

This year has been one of forward momentum, innovative solutions and inspiring individuals. As 2011 comes to a close, it’s time to celebrate achievements and look at some of the most memorable milestones and events of the past year. Moving into 2012, we are armed with the knowledge of what success looks like. We must continue to work to ensure that girls and women are at the heart of development efforts, now and in the years to come. Read more...

The Power Of The “Demographic Dividend”

By: Gary Darmstadt
Originally posted by: the Impatient Optimists

Kanpur.jpgI recently had the opportunity to attend a meeting at the World Bank where global health and development leaders and finance ministers from rich and poor countries met to share experiences and learning about the demographic dividend.

The concept of the demographic dividend is that when fertility rates in a country decline, fewer births take place each year, and the size of the population of individuals who are dependent on the state grows smaller. Read more...

Making Life: A Risky Proposition, A Diane Sawyer 20/20 Special

ABC News continues its year-long global health series by examining the most dangerous thing a woman can do: why so many women are dying during pregnancy and childbirth. Diane Sawyer and a team of correspondents report on a special edition of “20/20,” Friday, Dec.16 on ABC.

New York, NY, December 12, 2011 -- The numbers are staggering: every 90 seconds, a woman dies during pregnancy or childbirth – that’s about 1,000 women a day. Yet experts say that more than 80% of these deaths are totally preventable if only the mothers-to-be received proper medical care. At the bottom of the list, countries like Afghanistan, with its child brides, and Sierra Leone, which has one of the highest fertility rates in the world. The US ranks surprisingly low in the industrialized world -- number 41 on the maternal mortality list. It is an issue that experts all over the world say is “unforgiveable” because even the most basic medicine and intervention could prevent the majority of these deaths. Read on...

Maternal Health Advocate Robin Lim Named CNN Hero Of The Year

Last night, maternal health advocate Robin Lim accepted the CNN 2011 Hero of the Year award, telling the audience, “Every mother counts, and health care is a human right.” Lim is the founder of the Yayasan Bumi Sehat health clinics in Indonesia which provide free antenatal, birthing and postnatal care; capacity-building and training for local midwives; and community outreach on maternal health. Read more...

A Declaration in Support of A Global Campaign for Safe Abortion Access

Dakar, Senegal, December 2, 2011 -- The following declaration was released at the International Conference on Family Planning. A similar declaration was prepared and read by the following partners during the 6th Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights (APCRSHR) held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia in October 2011: Asia Safe Abortion Partnership (ASAP), Concept Foundation, Women on Waves, Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) and the International Planned Parenthood Federation East and SE Asia and Oceania Region (IPPF-ESEAOR) and South Asia Region (IPPF-SAR). Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Fixing What’s Broken, Education for Medical Equipment Technicians

By: Rati Bishnoi, Special Projects Intern

tech.jpgTwo reasons—a lack of spare parts and too few highly trained technicians—are often cited as the causes of large numbers of out-of-service laboratory and medical equipment across the developing world. As a result of broken equipment, already burdened health systems find it increasingly challenging to accurately diagnose and treat patients.

This obstacle is particularly alarming as 2015, the deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), looms on the horizon. Strong, functioning health systems are essential to reaching the MDGs, and MDG 5 in particular. With this in mind, Duke University researchers from Robert Malkin’s Developing World Healthcare Technology Laboratory set out to better understand the problem of unused or underutilized medical equipment in developing countries. Read more...

International Conference on Family Planning: Invest in Women – It Pays!

By: Jill Sheffield, President of Women Deliver

This week, I was privileged to join more than 2,200 participants at the International Conference on Family Planning in Dakar, Senegal. It was truly an amazing conference with three days of rich discussion and wonderful commitments, like those made by Dfid and the government of Senegal.
 
As the focus of this conference was on family planning, it was essential that participants not only discuss the social benefits of investing in family planning – which include a reduction of unintended pregnancies, a decrease in maternal deaths, and a decline of unsafe abortions – but also the incredible economic impact of investing in family planning. Read more...

Corporate Buzz: Jhpiego wins $1.6M grant from GE Foundation

By: Alexander Jackson, originally posted on Baltimore Business Journal

Jhpiego.jpgA Johns Hopkins University affiliate has been awarded $1.6 million from the GE Foundation to support the development of lifesaving technologies for women and children in developing countries.

Jhpiego, a Baltimore-based international nonprofit, will use the money to create new products through its Innovation Development Program. Centered on maternal and child health, the program focuses on early-stage innovation and then, for selected projects, field-testing and product introduction. Read more...

DFID Committed to Integrating HIV and SRH Services

Today, December 1, 2011, is World Aids Day. It has been 30 years since the first case of AIDS was diagnosed, and there are more than 34 million people living with HIV today. Particularly given the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s recent announcement that funds have been cut for new programs, the need for resources to support HIV/AIDS services and care is especially pronounced. Read more...

Family Planning Conference Brings New Funding and Declarations of Support

By: Joanna Hoffman, Special Projects Manager at Women Deliver

Yesterday, at the 2011 International Conference on Family Planning, Senegal’s Minister of Health announced his country’s pledge to double its investment in family planning, while the British Department for International Development (DFID) pledged an additional £35m in funding for family planning programs in developing countries. These two groundbreaking announcements have been pivotal moments at the global conference in Dakar, Senegal, where over 1,500 participants have gathered to share best practices. Read more...

Family Planning Access Will Deliver for Women In Uganda

By: Dr. Jotham Musinguzi and Jill Sheffield
Originally posted in The Independent and The Daily Monitor

ugandapregnant.jpgNext week, leaders from across Africa and around the world will meet at the 2011 International Conference on Family Planning in Dakar, Senegal. This meeting comes at a critical time, as we examine how to navigate a world with increasingly constrained resources and create a future that fosters health and development worldwide. The meeting also occurs during World AIDS Day. Women now comprise the majority of those living with HIV in Africa, and access to male and female condoms to prevent both HIV and unwanted pregnancy is crucial. Read more...

Corporate Buzz: Shaping our Future, Access to Reproductive Health Care in 2015

By: Saundra Pelletier, CEO, WomenCare Global

Many smart people love the idea of alleviating poverty; however, because it is such an overwhelming proposition, they quickly shift their thinking to more attainable goals. What they do not realize is the answer is simple; the puzzle can be solved; and it as easy as investing in the world’s women. Women, after all, hold up half the sky. A woman multiplies the impact of an investment made in her health, education, and well being by extending benefits to the world around her, creating a better life for her family, and building a strong community. Yes, Women Deliver.

When I look ahead to the year 2015, I envision a world where there is a cultural consciousness and awareness of why preventing mothers from dying in childbirth is so vital. Women’s health, particularly women’s reproductive health, will no longer be pushed aside for more “pressing issues.” The lives of women and mothers will be at the core of conversations in both global health and global development circles. One of the most important benefits will be that 600,000 children will not grow up without the love and care of a mother. Read more...

Corporate Buzz: Social Franchising for Women’s Health

By: Kristin Rosella and Madeline Taskier, Strategic Partnerships Group, Women Deliver

For most women around, purchasing family planning or maternal health products is much easier said than done. In some cases, price points are too high, the quality of the products is questionable, or there is little information and counseling available for women. A lack of access to high-quality commodities is one of the major remaining barriers to achieving comprehensive maternal and reproductive health for women.

Enter social franchising for health—a concept that developed from social marketing health campaigns. The idea is to create a branded network of health practitioners who provide high-quality health services to those who need them the most. Like social marketing, which applies business marketing techniques for social good (e.g., anti-smoking television commercials), social franchising applies business franchise models for social good. The primary motive of sales is not profit, but rather, providing high-quality products. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Hospitals and Clinics in Senegal Improve Access to Family Planning

By: Rati Bishnoi, Special Projects Intern

SenegalMother.jpgThe West African nation of Senegal has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world—with 410 maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births. Considering an estimated five children are born per woman, it is clear that the health and safety of women in the country greatly depend on their ability to control if and when they have children.

Despite prevailing views placing emphasis on the value of larger families, more Senegalese are choosing to space their births, have fewer children, and seek long-term family planning options, Fatou Seck, a midwife at Hospital Centre for Health and Hygiene in Medina, Senegal, recently told IRIN News. Read more...

2015+: Join Our Critical Online Discussion Forum on the Future of Reproductive and Maternal Health

you_are_invited.jpg

With the deadlines for the Millennium Development Goals and the International Conference on Population and Development’s Program of Action fast approaching, Women Deliver is calling on the entire reproductive and maternal health community—from policymakers to health workers to advocates—to participate in an online discussion to shape the future of our field.

Join this critical global conversation at www.knowledge-gateway.org/womendeliver and weigh in on where we are, where we need to be, and how we need to get there. This means taking stock of lessons learned, challenges ahead, and tackling the critical question: What will—and what must—happen to the MDGs and ICPD after 2015? Read more...

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