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Every Woman Every Child

Originally posted on The Children's Project International

This blog is published in collaboration with a larger campaign spearheaded by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and conducted by Heads of State and Government; Heads of U.N. Agencies; CEO’s; Leaders of Civil Society Organizations; and other global leaders who have demonstrated their leadership in the health field, in support of Every Woman Every Child. Learn more at  www.everywomaneverychild.org.

Tomorrow morning, members of the U.N. General Assembly will convene in New York and mark the final three year push to meet the Millennium Development Goals by their 2015 deadline. For the past two years, The Children’s Project International has supported a number of projects and initiatives which daily advance the cause of eradicating extreme poverty and substantially improving maternal and children’s health. Read more...

Jill Sheffield Joins High-Level UN Commission on Women’s and Children’s Health

Jill Sheffield, President of Women Deliver, is joining a new UN high-level commission charged with developing an accountability framework that will link resources committed to women's and children's health with the results they are intended to achieve.

"Strengthening accountability is critical if we are to save the lives of more women and children," said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. "We must ensure that partners deliver on their promises but, in turn, it is crucial that they know whether investments are leading to sustainable progress.” 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.

UN Launches Website for Every Woman, Every Child

The official site for the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, www.everywomaneverychild.org, is live. Click through to make a commitment to women's and children's health.

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Getting the Most from our Partnerships – A Lesson on Collaboration from MDG Week

By: Joy Marini, Director, Corporate Contributions, Johnson & Johnson

JJ.jpgLast month, during the week-long Millennium Development Goals Summit in New York, I was fortunate to be able to participate in a number of activities with some of the world’s most compassionate and resourceful global health advocates. All of us gathered to share what we were doing to improve the health of women and children all over the world. I was inspired by the dedication of all participants and the sheer variety and volume of programs and approaches that are going on simultaneously to address these issues.

But with so many groups working on so many initiatives all at the same time, how can we be sure that we are making the most of what each sector has to offer? Read more...

Merck Supports Women Deliver and the MDGs

By: Frank Roijmans, Executive Director of the Institutional Family Planning Services at Merck

It was an honor and a pleasure to participate in the Women Deliver Brunch, preceding the UN Summit where Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched a major concerted effort to accelerate progress on Women's and Children's health. The brunch was designed to exchange thoughts and come up with ideas to integrate and create synergies amongst all the Millennium Development Goals (MDG's) through concerted actions at country level. Merck/MSD fully support the endeavors of the United Nations, Women Deliver and the wider development community. We share the top priority goals that include improving universal quality access to reproductive health and reducing maternal mortality, which are major contributors to the overall health of women, families and society. Read more...

Pfizer Supports Women Deliver and the MDGs

suitcase.jpgBy: Paula R. DeCola, Senior Director, External Medical Affairs, Pfizer, Inc

Prior to the UN General Assembly’s special session on MDG’s, Women Deliver hosted an event with UN agencies and delegates, government officials, foundations, as well as corporate and nonprofit leaders. “Accelerating Action on the MDGs: Delivering for Women, Girls, and Babies” took place at the Waldorf Astoria. I learned that day that although it is recognized as a locus for high society social events, its Park Avenue location once was home to a fistula hospital. Read more...

Vestergaard Frandsen Supports Women Deliver and the MDGs

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By: Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen, CEO of the Group Vestergaard Frandsen

I shared the stage on Sunday, 19 September with Dr. Imane Khachani of Morocco at the Women Deliver event on "Accelerating Action on the MDGs: Delivering for Girls, Women and Babies" at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York. At this important event, I spoke about the need to engage the private sector when developing solutions to addressing global public health issues. As a representative of the private sector, I wanted to highlight the fact that many companies, including Vestergaard Frandsen, want to be a partner in identifying and implementing solutions to improve the lives of girls and women. Read more...

H4+ Group Advancing Progress and Announcing New Support for MDG5

By: Madeline Taskier, Partnership Coordinator for Women Deliver

Last week during the MDG Summit, the H4+ group gathered to present country successes in maternal health and to announce its next steps for MDG5. The H4+ official side event at the Unicef House, “Accelerating progress in achieving MDG5:  Trends and Lessons from countries,” brought together mission representatives and delegates from countries, development partners, donors, foundations, and non-governmental organizations. The H4+ group including Unicef, WHO, UNFPA, the World Bank, and UNAIDS currently supports maternal health programming in 26 priority countries. Read more...

Maternal Health and Mobile Technology: New Tools for an Important Fight

josh-nesbit.jpgBy: Josh Nesbit, co-founder and executive director of FrontlineSMS:Medic

The magnitude of certain problems is fully evident and inexcusable. Each year, 350,000 women and girls die every year from pregnancy-related causes, and over 100 million lack access to family planning. My generation has had access to these staggering statistics for years. As global citizens, we must now choose to act.

I was honored to join heads of UN agencies and government officials, as well as corporate and nonprofit leaders at last week’s Women Deliver event, “Accelerating Action on the MDGs: Delivering for Women, Girls, and Babies.” The theme threading the event’s discussions was clear - low-hanging impact exists, and if we want to increase access to proven interventions, we need to get creative. Read more...

UNGA Week in NY: What Will it Bring for Women?

By: Jill Sheffield, President, Women Deliver; originally posted at the Huffington Post

I kicked off this week with an energizing maternal health advocacy brunch that welcomed leaders, delegates, activists, and young people to New York for the United Nations General Assembly. This week, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will come under close review. Leaders will examine where development progress has been made and why, where it has been too slow, and consider just what we need to move forward toward our goals. In short, this is a make-or-break week for many reasons. Read more...

Women: Inspiration & Enterprise Symposium | Women Inspiring Women

By: Mariko Rasmussen, Program Assistant for Women Deliver; 1 of 50 Young Champions for Women at the WIE Symposium 

On September 20, 2010, I attended the inaugural Women: Inspire & Enterprise (WIE) Symposium, hosted by Sarah Brown, Arianna Huffington and Donna Karan, an event that drew powerful women in politics, philanthropy, media, fashion and the arts to New York City for a full day of speakers, panels and workshops, as well as exhibitions, performances and awards. The WIE Symposium was held to coincide with the United Nations review summit on the Millennium Development Goals and the Clinton Global Initiative, adding to the multitude of events taking place in the city this week to push world leaders to keep their promises to girls and women and to get new pledges and commitments to maternal health. Read more...

Commitments to the “Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health;” Over $40 Billion

Culminating a global summit on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Heads of State and Government, along with the private sector, foundations, international organizations, civil society and research organizations, kicked off a concerted world-wide effort to save the lives of more than 16 million women and children. At a special UN event to launch the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, stakeholders pledged over $40 billion in resources for women’s and children’ health, as well as many other commitments of efforts and resources. Women Deliver launched a commitment earlier in the week at the event, “Accelerating Action on the MDGs.” (Download here)

“I welcome Women Deliver’s commitment to galvanise world-wide advocacy around MDG 5 – improving maternal health,” said United Nation’s Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. “Ensuring that women and girls can access the prevention, treatment and care they need is one of the best investments we can make for this and future generations."

NGOs and Foundations Make New Pledges Committing to Maternal Health

UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon is about to launch the Global Strategy for Maternal and Child Health to accelerate progress on women’s and children’s health and is being met with great support from various organizations. CARE International has announced a $1.8 billion commitment, the United Nations Foundations has announced $400 million to improve the health of children and women globally by 2015, the Belinda Stronach Foundation commits up to $5 million over the next 5 years to empower girls and women, and World Vision International has made a commitment of US $1.5 billion to maternal, newborn and child health over five years, with $500 million of that from government or public sources. Click through to read more... 

This Time We Know What to Do

By: Jill Sheffield, president of Women Deliver; originally posted at American Forum

Reading the news is usually an ordeal of watching the world fall apart at an accelerating pace, so when four United Nations agencies offer a new count of mothers’ deaths worldwide in pregnancy and childbirth, one braces for another depressing and insoluble problem. The numbers over the past 20 years, after all, have been stubbornly high: one death per minute on average.

Today, however, the news is jarring because it’s good: the 2008 total of maternal deaths is down 35 percent from 1990. About 358,000 women died in 2008 from complications of pregnancy and childbirth, according to Trends in Maternal Mortality, a recent joint report from the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank and the United Nations Population Fund. The study reinforces one by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) earlier this year that put the number at 342,900. Both figures translate roughly to one death every 90 seconds. That’s a definite improvement over one per minute. But is it enough? Read more...

Key Leaders at UN MDG Summit Commit to Investing in Women

During the Sunday UNGASS official side event, “Accelerating Action on the MDGs,” delegates were encouraged to focus on commitments to the MDGs and the synergies enhanced by collaboration, networking and funding. Dr. Fred Sai, honorary co-chair of the Women Deliver 2010 conference asked the delegates to allocate “at least 30 seconds of their five minute speeches at the UNGASS to focus on your commitment to women.” Click through to read some highlights from the country statements...

The Launch of the Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health

Yesterday, the Aspen Institute launched the Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health, and issued a call for resolve: Universal Reproductive Health Access by 2015. The Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health is a group of sixteen sitting and former heads of state, high-level policymakers and other leaders committed to advancing reproductive health for lasting development and prosperity. Chaired by former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, these leaders will mobilize the political will and financial resources necessary to achieve universal access to reproductive health by 2015 – a key target of the UN Millennium Development Goals.

Read more...

The Clock is Ticking: Make Every Woman Count

clock.JPGBy: Joanna Hoffman, Program Associate for Women Deliver

As delegates to the UN summit rush between meetings and announce their country’s commitments towards reaching the MDGs, they are coming face to face with the stark reminder of maternal mortality in the form of a “maternal death clock” in Times Square. Amnesty International activated the clock yesterday morning to highlight the staggering consequences of MDG 5’s lack of sufficient progress to date- every 90 seconds, a woman dies in childbirth. In a year, 358,000 mothers die throughout the world.  99% of deaths occur in developing countries, and the majority of these deaths are preventable.

Women Deliver and Partners Urge Delegates to Act on the MDGs

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Read the FULL REPORT from the Accelerating Action on the MDGs event.

Ahead of the opening of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Summit at the UN in New York City, General Assembly delegates gathered yesterday for a dialogue with bilateral donors, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), First Ladies, youth leaders and the private sector on how to secure the resources and political will needed to achieve the MDGs—with specific focus on delivering solutions for women, girls and babies. (Download photos from the event)

The brunch, “Accelerating Action on the MDGs: Delivering for Girls, Women, and Babies,” was co-hosted by Women Deliver, and several UN, NGO, and foundation partner organizations. Read more...

MDG5: What’s in a Maternal Death?

By: Jill Sheffield, President of Women Deliver; originally posted at GLOBAL HEALTH Magazine Blog

It has been a big year for maternal health advocates. Next week we gear up for a global review of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and the Secretary-General will launch the Global Strategy for Womens and Childrens Health. These are huge steps forward, with path-cutting initiatives that will enable maternal health advocates, providers, and donors to do our work more effectively.

The recent UN maternal mortality figures are further good news, which confirm what we have all been hoping for: globally, mortality rates are down and we have been doing something right.

But have we been doing enough right? While the latest estimates are welcome good news, we know more must be done - both to save womens lives and better understand the magnitude of the problem.

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