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Calls for Second Round of Applicants for Saving Lives at Birth Grand Challenge

Calling all innovators: Do you have an “audacious but achievable” idea to prevent or treat the causes of maternal and neonatal deaths?

If so, then it’s time to prepare an application for the second round of grants for the Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development. USAID, Norway, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada, and the World Bank have released a request for applications to award $18 million in Saving Lives at Birth grants in fiscal year 2012. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Using Sports to Level the Playing Field

By: Rati Bishnoi

For the thousands of Kenyan girls participating in the Moving the Goalposts sports program in Kilifi district, Kenya, playing soccer is not just a physical exercise. Instead, participating in the girls-only sports program is an exercise in learning to be confident, growing into leaders, and re-envisioning a world in which girls can do just as much as—and be just as respected as—boys. Read more...

Understanding the Girl Effect

By: Jill Sheffield, President of Women Deliver; Originally posted on the Impatient Optimist 

girl_effect_gates.jpgOn Friday, The Guardian’s Poverty Matters Blog posted an opinion piece by Dr. Ofra Koffman that questions the contributions that girls and young women can make to economies when they delay childbirth. Koffman argued that the so-called “Girl Effect” of delaying childbirth does not necessarily “stop poverty before it starts,” as the Department for International Development (DFID) claims.

However, the “Girl Effect” is about much more than adolescent fertility. It’s about the holistic approach to harnessing the power of girls and women—from literacy to the elimination of death in early childbirth to leadership opportunities—and how these factors come together to reduce global poverty. Read more...

10 Facts About Contraception (And How It Changed the World) That Every Man and Woman Should Know

Excerpt of a blog by Keli Goff, author of The GQ Candidate and a Contributing Editor for Loop21.com
Birth_Control.jpg

Below is a list of the most powerful ways contraception has impacted and continues to impact the world, from issues such as literacy to life expectancy rates of women. 

1. In countries with the highest fertility rates, women have the shortest life expectancies.

Women in Sierra Leone live half as long as women in developed countries and 10 years less than their African counterparts in some African countries, and no, this is not merely due to the history of civil unrest. One in eight Sierra Leonean women dies in childbirth. In other countries like Chad, where women are likely to give birth to six or more children, women are lucky to live to age 55. 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...

Celebrate Solutions: Recognizing the Midwives - Making Afghanistan Safer for Mothers and Newborns

By: Rati Bishnoi, Special Projects Intern for Women Deliver

Maliha.jpgIn December, Mahila became the first winner of UNFPA’s Delivering Health, Saving Lives award for outstanding Afghan midwivesAt the young age of 25, Mahila has delivered hundreds of babies and is now recognized as the best midwife in the northeastern province of Badakhsan.

In 2008, Mahila graduated from the Community Midwives Education Programme after spending two years gaining basic level knowledge and skills related to obstetrics, neonatology, public health, family planning, prenatal care, delivery, and post-pregnancy careArmed with this technical knowledge, Mahila and other graduates of the Afghan Midwives Association and UNFPA-supported midwifery programme are helping to make Afghanistan a safer place for mothers and their children. Read more...

Gates Foundation: Every Woman Should Have Access to Family Planning

By: Joanna Hoffman, Special Projects Manager 

GlobalFundGates.jpgThis week, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation released their annual letter from Bill Gates, identifying family planning as a priority area for 2012. When women have access to family planning, Gates explains, poverty is reduced, more children are educated, and governments are better able to meet the needs of their people. This allows governments and citizens to benefit from the “demographic dividend”, referring to decreases in family size resulting in a higher number of educated youth. When these youth reach working age, they boost productivity and economic growth for their country. 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...

Women Deliver Partners with the International Museum of Women in Online Exhibition on Motherhood

Women Deliver is proud to partner with the International Museum of Women for the launch of their new, online exhibition MAMA: Motherhood Around the GlobeRead 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...

Calling All Mothers, Calling All Babies: Introducing HuffPost Global Motherhood

By: Arianna Huffington
Originally posted by: Huffington Post, Global Motherhood 

GlobalMotherhood.jpgI'm delighted to announce the launch of Global Motherhood, a new section within HuffPost Impact dedicated to the health and well being of mothers and babies around the world, and sponsored by Johnson & Johnson. Read more...

New Report Shows Increase In Unsafe Abortion

By: Joanna Hoffman, Special Projects Manager 

Guttmacher.gifThe long-term decline of abortions worldwide has stalled, and unsafe abortions are now on the rise, according to Induced Abortion: Incidence and Trends Worldwide from 1995 to 2008, a report by the Guttmacher Institute and the World Health Organization (WHO) published yesterday by The Lancet. After a global decline in abortion rates from 35 per 1000 women in 1995 to 28 in 2008, progress has now stagnated.  The proportion of unsafe abortions out of total abortions has risen from 44% in 1995 to 49% in 2008. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: A Commitment to the Health and Livelihood of India’s Women

By: Lindsey Taylor Wood, Communications Associate 

Zubaida Bai’s relationship with postpartum infection is a personal one. As a consequence of unsanitary birthing conditions and practices, she contracted an infection that led to years of suffering. Rather than allow her misfortune to deter her work, the engineer turned social entrepreneur shifted her time and energy toward developing a clean delivery birthing kit that could help prevent the deaths of the nearly 600,000 women and nine million infants that lose their lives to postpartum infection each year. Read more... 

Celebrate Solutions: Making Maternal Health Affordable for All

By: Joanna Hoffman, Special Projects Manager 

DeLaVega.jpgIn the early 1970s, Guadalupe Arizpe De La Vega read a newspaper article about a poor mother of nine children who was imprisoned after she stabbed herself in the stomach to prevent a tenth pregnancy. After visiting the woman in jail, De La Vega realized how limited information on and access to family planning services were in Mexico, and particularly for poor and marginalized women.  

She then went on to found the private, non-profit Hospital de la Familia, which offers holistic, sliding-scale health care and counseling for the women of Juarez, Mexico. To date, the hospital has treated more than 1.7 million patients and overseen the healthy births of more than 116,000 babies. Read more...

President Jill Sheffield Announces Partnership With Million Moms Challenge

MillionMoms.pngWomen Deliver is proud to partner with the Million Moms Challenge, a new social media campaign bringing together millions of Americans with mothers in the developing world to share information and solutions relating to healthy pregnancies, deliveries and children. Social media is an effective, far-reaching way to allow moms and maternal health advocates worldwide to discuss critical challenges and life-saving innovations. Read more...

By: President, Jill Sheffield

originally posted on the Million Moms Challenge website. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Advocating for Greater Access to Female Condoms

By: Rati Bishnoi, Special Projects Intern

FC.pngDespite continued commercial availability for more than 15 years and ongoing efforts to increase global accessibility, a massive unmet demand for female condoms still exists today. High prices—up to 30 times the price of a male condom in some places—and limited or irregular access have kept the only female-initiated contraceptive method out of reach of many women.

In particular, female condoms act as a “barrier” contraceptive, which means they physically prevent sperm from entering the uterus. Unlike other barrier contraceptives, female condoms also protect the inside and outside of the vagina, thus preventing sexually transmitted infections. Greater access to the female condom for both women and men will increase the instances of protected sex and lead to the reduction of unintended pregnancies, maternal deaths caused by unsafe abortions, and help prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. To help prevent these tragedies, last month on World AIDS Day, the United Kingdom committed 5 million pounds for the distribution of female condoms in Africa. 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...

Celebrate Solutions: Empowering Young Girls in Egypt through Youth Centers

By: Madeline Taskier, Strategic Partnerships Associate at Women Deliver

Eygpt.jpgIn Egypt, young girls living in rural areas often do not have the opportunity to attend school. Instead, they help their families and are socially isolated due to conservative gender norms. They often marry young and have little access to public life, as they are confined to the home to raise children and take care of their households. These girls have little access to health care, education, or peers in their communities. To break the cycle of this isolation and enable these girls to reach their full potential, the Population Council launched Ishraq  (meaning “sunrise” in Arabic) in 2001. The program brings adolescent girls from Upper Egypt together in youth centers and provides training to improve their educational, health, and social opportunities. Read more...

Corporate Buzz: Bayer Health Care Increases Access to Contraceptives For Women Worldwide

Earlier this week, Bayer Health Care broadened its commitment to reproductive health supplies for women by reducing the price of its five-year contraceptive implant product, Jadelle©. The price will decrease from $21 to $19.50 per implant, and could further reduce with future large orders.

Bayer projects that with these cost savings, over half a million women who view Jadelle© as their contraceptive method of choice will now be able to access it. Potential outcomes are powerful and plentiful, including the prevention of more than 550,000 unwanted pregnancies, 255,000 abortions, 1,000 maternal deaths, and 6,000 newborn deaths. Read more...

Great Expectations From Grand Challenges

Calling For Technological Innovation To Speed Up Saving The Lives Of Mothers And Newborns

By: Joy Lawn
Originally posted by: Healthy Newborn Network

Wind-up powered devices for where there is unreliable electricity, needle-free injections, or inhaled instead. We need more innovation specifically to address the rich-poor gap for medical equipment. An Argentinian car mechanic, inspired by a party trick extracting a cork from a bottle, developed a low cost device to save babies and women from obstructed labor. The Odon device, a plastic bag that is inflated and fixes around the baby’s head to assist during complications due to prolonged second stage of labor, has the potential for wide application in low-resource settings. Across the world, a Norwegian business entrepreneur, has advanced efforts to save babies who do not breathe at birth with a simpler, upright neonatal resuscitation device and lower-cost training mannequins. We need more ideas and more thought leaders like these! Read more...

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