Statement to Stakeholders from Jill Sheffield, President of Women
This week marks an important step in our efforts to reduce maternal mortality worldwide. Misoprostol, a low-cost and life-saving drug, has just been added to the WHO Model Lists of Essential Medicines (EML) for the prevention of postpartum hemorrhage. This is vital because postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is the leading cause of maternal mortality, accounting for nearly one quarter of all maternal deaths worldwide, reaching as high as 60% in some countries. Read more...
May 17th, 2011
Statement to Stakeholders from Jill Sheffield, President of Women
May 9th, 2011
USAID marks its 50th Anniversary this year. In the latest issue of PSI’s Impact magazine, Editor-in-Chief Marshall Stowell interviews senior USAID officials, including Susan Brems, Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Global Health, and Scott Radloff, Director of the Office of Population and Reproductive Health. Both share their thoughts on improving the health of women in developing countries and new technologies that promise to advance these efforts. Check out the interviews at www.psi.org/impact6.
April 28th, 2011
On April 27, 2010, Sierra Leone launched a free health care initiative for pregnant women, new mothers, and young children under the age of five. How did a country with a barely functioning health system following more than a decade of brutal civil war manage this and what have the results been? In two new articles, John Donnelly, Senior Consultant for MLI, investigates these questions. Read more…
March 21st, 2011
Before 2000, few organizations concerned with global health paid much attention to newborn survival. Since that year, a number have come to address the problem, including foundations, UN agencies, bilateral development agencies, governments of low-income countries, and non-governmental organizations. This wave of attention is surprising: there was no sudden increase in the number of babies dying or swift spread of a virus that alarmed citizens of rich countries. The emergence of attention to newborn survival in a short period of time presents an interesting study in how global health issues come to attract priority. Read more...
January 31st, 2011
By: Mariko Rasmussen, Communications Specialist at Women Deliver
As in many African countries, women in Mozambique often give birth outside of a health facility. Factors leading to this decision include having difficult access to health services, being scared of how they will be treated at a health facility, and feeling more comfortable delivering at home. But, when complications occur at home, women and babies are much less likely to receive the appropriate, life-saving care they need. Mozambique’s government and partners are working to change this trend by improving health care delivery through the Model Maternities Initiative (MMI). The goal of MMI is to improve maternal and newborn health care services while providing a supportive environment in which women give birth. Read more...
January 21st, 2011
The role of skilled birth attendants, in particular midwives and others with midwifery competencies, is widely acknowledged as being crucial to addressing maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity, and to promoting women’s and children’s health. An upcoming publication entitled The State of the World’s Midwifery, from UNFPA and a coalition of partners, will take stock of recent analyses showing that both midwifery personnel and services are unequally distributed - both between and within countries.
December 16th, 2010
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...
December 14th, 2010
Yesterday, the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD) announced the launch of a groundbreaking new publication, “Maternal Health - An Advocacy Guide for Parliamentarians.” Focusing on the Asia-Pacific region, this resource functions as a guidebook with practical steps Parliamentarians can take, on multiple levels, to raise awareness and advocate for maternal and child health. Read more...
October 20th, 2010
The need for increased efforts to improve women’s health was highlighted during the 61st session of the WHO Regional Committee for the Western Pacific, which took place in Malaysia last week from October 11-15th. WHO Regional Director of the Pacific Shin Young-Soo, a participant at Women Deliver’s “Accelerating Action on the MDGs” brunch event during the UN summit, remarked during a pre-session press conference that “…it is absolutely shameful in this day and age that so many women in the region are dying in childbirth or pregnancy.” Each day, more than 100 women in the region die from pregnancy-related causes. Read more...
September 27th, 2010
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...
September 22nd, 2010
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."
September 21st, 2010
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...
August 12th, 2010
Driving forward the momentum gathered from a successful second global conference, Women Deliver is organizing a side event, “Accelerating Action on the MDGs: Delivering for Girls, Women and Babies”, for delegates to the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS). On Sunday, September 19th from 9:30-11:30am, a day before the Special Session begins, UN member country delegates, NGOs, corporations, donors, UN agencies, youth leaders and media will gather in New York City to discuss progress made on the Millennium Development Goals as well as concrete steps to be taken. Read more...
August 2nd, 2010
Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved an amendment to permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule, which prohibited organizations who performed or promoted abortion from receiving US funding. Though President Obama signed an executive order upon taking office in January 2009 that officially rescinded the Global Gag Rule, this amendment will prevent future administrations from reinstating it. The amendment was sponsored by Sen. Lautenberg and co-sponsored by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), and was passed with a vote of 17–11.
July 22nd, 2010
ICRW recently released 2nd report in the Girls Count series, “Girls Speak: A New Voice in Global Development,” shows that girls’ insights in development increase impact and effectiveness. The report draws together girls’ voices and makes them accessible to policymakers and program managers. The United Nations Foundation and the Nike Foundation funded the report.
July 22nd, 2010
By: Jill Sheffield, President of Women Deliver, originally posted at The Huffington Post
These past few weeks especially, Kampala has been on my mind. Not least because of the senseless attacks that took place there last week. The injustice of terrorism is confounding, and it is a tragedy that innocent people pay the price. But Kampala is on my mind also because, amidst the grief over recent events there is an amazing opportunity. The city is host to the 15th African Union Summit.
The theme of this year's Summit, building on the momentum of Women Deliver and the G8 Summit in the past months, is "maternal, infant, and child health and development in Africa." I cannot imagine a more important theme for a meeting in Africa, taking place at a more momentous time. Millions of women across Africa still struggle to realize their rights and live healthy, fulfilled lives beneath the burdens of poverty, sexual violence and unplanned pregnancies. [Read more...]
July 20th, 2010
By: Ernestine B. Greaves, one of the Women Deliver 100 Young Leaders
Globally, we now have the largest generation of youth in history: more than 1.2 billion young people are between 10 and 19 years old. We are the future. Yet our future is uncertain if our health systems and health services continue to fail this generation, and the next.
It’s an unfortunate truth that one woman, every minute, dies from complications due to pregnancy and childbirth around the world. This is also the leading cause of death for girls aged 15-19 in developing countries. Unplanned pregnancy rates continue to be high across the world, and of the 13% of maternal deaths worldwide due to unsafe abortions, almost half of those are aged under 19. The challenges of pregnancy and childbirth threaten young women’s lives every single day.
Now is the time to deliver for these women. As her Excellency President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf attends the Summit of the African Union, she must take action on maternal health and protect and promote the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people.
July 15th, 2010
It is a simple truth: The Millennium Development Goals will not be achieved in Africa without addressing sexual and reproductive health. In 2006, recognizing that women and girls deliver enormous social and economic benefits to their families, communities, and nations, the African Union boldly adopted a short-term plan to achieve the MDGs and save women’s lives in their continent: The Maputo Plan of Action. You understood the needs and realities of your countries, you came together, and you adopted a plan that moved sexual and reproductive health higher on Africa’s political agenda. We commend you for taking the lead in addressing sexual and reproductive health, including maternal health and family planning.
Now, the Maputo Plan of Action is about to expire, and we’re calling on you to reenergize your efforts to achieve the goals that you set in 2006. It’s time to build on the legacy of the Maputo Plan, and to move forward with renewed determination to save the lives of millions of women and girls. [Read more...]
July 1st, 2010
Thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of the second Women Deliver global conference. To put world leaders on notice that the time for action on maternal health is now, 3,400 advocates, policymakers, development leaders, health care professionals, youth, advocates, and media from 146 countries converged on Washington, DC on June 7-9 at Women Deliver 2010. More than 800 speeches and presentations were given at the six plenaries and 120 breakout sessions. The heads of five UN agencies, plus the Secretary-General of the United Nations, attended. Thirty countries, UN agencies, the World Bank, corporations, and foundations helped support Women Deliver. Please click through for highlights and recaps of the conference.
June 29th, 2010
By: Janna Oberdorf, Communications Manager for Women Deliver
On Sunday, the G20 Summit, a group of government leaders from 20 countries, followed up on the outcomes of the G8 meetings the day before that promised $7.3 billion to maternal and child health. The G20 usually focuses on matters pertaining to the international financial system, while the G8 talks about broader development issues like solving global poverty. For the first time ever, the G20 agreed to set up a working group on international development issues, giving itself a formalized a role in helping poor countries.
There were two key paragraphs that will affect the maternal and child health communities in the communiqué that was released by the G20...