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Midwives Save Lives: Launch of The State of the World’s Midwifery 2011

Nearly 3.6 million lives could be saved in 58 developing countries around the world with scaled-up midwifery services, according to a report launched today by UNFPA and partners called The State of the World’s Midwifery 2011. Of these 58 countries, 38 were found to be lagging behind in meeting MDG 5 (reducing maternal mortality by 75%). Unless an additional 112,000 midwives are trained, deployed and retained in supportive environments, these 38 countries might not meet their target to achieve 95 percent coverage of births by skilled attendants by 2015, as required by Millennium Development Goal 5, on maternal health. Globally, 350,000 midwives are still lacking. Read more...

Ending HIV Starts With Women

By: Serra Sippel, President of the Center for Health and Gender Equity in Washington, D.C.; originally posted on the Huffington Post

We can end HIV/AIDS right now if we want to. We already know how. We know how it is transmitted; we know how to prevent and treat it. We are just not doing what it takes to end it.

The United States and other countries represented at the United Nations High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS, which starts today, can change that. Unfortunately, there are already signs that we are going to stay the same failed course. Some country delegations, led by the Holy See (note: a non-member state with no epidemic that is neither a donor or aid recipient country), are working to block all references in the final outcome document to womens rights and access to sexual and reproductive health services. Despite the fact that sexual transmission is the number one way HIV is spread, despite the fact that women account for half of all people globally living with HIV, some countries would rather pursue a moralistic agenda around sex and women than put an end to AIDS.

Delivering Real Results and Resources for Girls and Women

By: Jill Sheffield, President of Women Deliver

Last week, the UN Commission on Women and Children’s Health released the final report, “Keeping Promises, Measuring Results,” with recommendations that will serve to hold countries and organizations accountable for the commitments they make to save the lives of girls, women and children around the world. I am honored to have been a part of this Commission. The brief and intense process has produced an accountability framework to deliver real results and resources for girls and women through monitoring, review and action. Read more...

Survival of women and newborns in crisis

BY: Kate Kerber and Ribka Amsalu; Originally posted on the Healthy Newborn Network (HNN) here

Imagine you are eight months pregnant with your third child with two other young children at home. The ground starts moving violently beneath you and panic sets in. You flee your collapsing home with your children. The aftershocks are intense and dramatic. You have lost family members and friends in the chaos and confusion. The earthquake devastates the healthcare system, leaving you no choice but to deliver your baby alone, or if you are fortunate, in a mobile or temporary clinic. Read more...

Young People and Maternal, Newborn and Child Health in Nigeria: Youth e-consultation

By: Esther Agbarakwe & Kikelomo Taiwo, Women Deliver 100 Young Leaders; posted on the WRA blog here

Globally between 350,000 and 550,000 girls and women die from complications due to pregnancy and childbirth every year, while 10-20 million girls and women suffer from maternal morbidities according to UNFPA. Each death represents a family’s loss of a sister, daughter, partner, mother, or friend. Early sexual exposure is an important reproductive risk factor among young people in Nigeria as many of them lack information and life planning skills to delay the onset of sexual activities. Read more...

New UN Report Says Invest in Youth, Women, Reproductive Health to Reduce Poverty

Investments in young people, women’s empowerment and reproductive health, including family planning, are critical to boosting least developed countries’ productive capacity and speeding their escape from poverty, according to a new report by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. The report, “Population Dynamics and Poverty in the LDCs: Challenges and Opportunities for Development and Poverty Reduction”, says that the world’s 48 least developed countries (LDCs) have a large and rapidly growing youth population, with some 60 per cent of their population under the age of 25. Read more...

USAID Experts Talk Women’s Health in Impact Magazine

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.

Marching to Celebrate the Indispensable Midwife

By: Joy Marini, Director of Corporate Contributions for Johnson & Johnson, Maternal and Child Health 

midwives.jpgOne day after the International Day of the Midwife, I am gathering with colleagues in Africa to discuss how we can help address the shortage of global health workers.

In sub-Saharan Africa, many women give birth alone, and without a skilled attendant such as a midwife, there is no one to address the complications of child delivery or to advise a pregnant woman to seek more skilled care. In fact, more women in this region die during pregnancy and childbirth than any other place on earth – claiming as many as one in eight lives. Read more...

International Day of the Midwife

By: Janna Oberdorf, Director of Communications and Outreach for Women Deliver

Today, May 5th, is International Day of the Midwife. The world needs midwives now more than ever. The World Health Organization, UN agencies and other global partners have identified that midwives are key to achieving reductions in maternal and newborn deaths and disabilities globally, yet there is a serious shortage. Read more... and get inspired by three midwives honored on the Women Deliver 100 list of the most inspiring people delivering for girls and women, below.

Juliette_Coulibaly.jpgImtiaz_Kamal.jpgdorothy-ngoma.JPG

Juliette Coulibaly, Côte d'Ivoire / Imtiaz Kamal, Pakistan / Dorothy Ngoma, Malawi

This Mother’s Day, Learn About Motherhood Around the World

By: Janna Oberdorf, Director of Communications and Outreach at Women Deliver

COUNTmeINsticker3x3.jpgAbout a year ago, at the Women Deliver 2010 conference in Washington, DC, I watched Christy Turlington Burns’ directorial debut, “No Woman, No Cry.” In our huge conference hall, between intense conversations on funding streams and health strengthening solutions, this movie made an impact. It told the stories behind the stats, and it gave a face to the 358,000 women and girls who die during pregnancy and childbirth each year. Read more...

A Comprehensive Program to Prevent Cervical Cancer in Rwanda

The Government of Rwanda, together with QIAGEN and Merck, launched a comprehensive national cervical cancer prevention program that includes vaccination with GARDASIL for appropriate girls 12 to 15 years of age and modern molecular diagnostic screening for women between the ages of 35 and 45 in Kigali, Rwanda. Rwanda is the first nation in Africa to offer a comprehensive prevention program that incorporates both HPV vaccination and HPV testing. Read more...

Human Rights Upheld at the United Nations 44th Commission on Population and Development

The outcome document of the 44th annual session of the Commission on Population and Development which concluded last week reaffirms the landmark International Conference on Population and Development Program of Action and brings the international community one step closer to ensuring that all people have access to necessary reproductive health services. Read more...

Statement by Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin at the Commission on Population and Development

Statement by: Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund at the United Nations Commission on Population and Development 2011

Mister Chairman, Members of the Commission, Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,

If you were born before 1967, you’ve seen world population double. As our population approaches 7 billion, every person particularly adolescents and young people should be able to enjoy human rights and human dignity. Every person should have the opportunity to make the most of his or her potential. Read more...

Goals for the Commission on Population and Development (CPD)

The 44th session of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) begins today, Monday April 11th , and lasts through the week.  Ambassador Brian Bowler of Malawi will chair the session, which will cover the theme of “Fertility, reproductive health and development”.  This year’s CPD is particularly significant, and Women Deliver is grateful for the opportunity to participate.  As part of our advocacy efforts, we have joined together with other organizations committed to furthering the International Conference on Population and Development’s (ICPD) goals, including sexual and reproductive health and protection of human rights. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: In Albania, Education and a Media Campaign Increase Contraceptive Use

By: Rati Bishnoi, Special Projects Intern at Women Deliver

Recently released results from a one-year family planning project in Albania show that peer education and a media campaign—including TV and radio ads—about the benefits of modern contraceptive methods were associated with increased awareness, better attitudes, and greater use. Read more...

On World Health Day, Learning From Half a Century of Experience in Maternal Health

By: Conrad Person, Director, Corporate Contributions, Johnson & Johnson

Today, the world marks World Health Day with ambitious goals for advancing the wellbeing of all people – with a special focus on women and children, whose fates are inextricably linked to overcoming poverty through the Millennium Development Goals. It is a time to celebrate how much progress we have made on issues like clean water and safe birth, but also a chance to reflect on the staggering gaps in health resources for women that still exist between developed and developing countries, and how we can address them. Read more...

Simply Everything: An Interview with Imane Khachani

By: Chally Kacelnik; originally posted in Feministe

Last month, Women Deliver – a fantastic organisation dedicated to improving women’s and girls’ health and wellbeing globally – released the Women Deliver 100. It’s a list of inspiring people, well, delivering for girls and women in all kinds of areas: health, politics, the media, and so on. Out of all those people, there was one I very badly wanted to interview, and her name is Imane Khachani. She’s a twenty-nine year old doctor from Morocco, and she’s one of those people who seem to get as much life and amazing activism into as little time as possible. She was a Special Youth Fellow at the United Nations’ Fund for Population, among other work with the UN, and has collaborated with the Department for Gender, Women and Health at WHO, not to mention Oxfam. Taking a particular interest in HIV/AIDS, she’s worked on sexual and reproductive health programs for young people at home and regionally, and has put together guides for addressing these needs in humanitarian settings. She’s just kind of jaw-droppingly amazing, if you will well know if you caught the video I posted recently. Click through to read the interview with Imane Khachani...

Celebrate Solutions: Improving Maternal Health and Increasing Awareness in Pakistan

pakistan.JPGBy: Rati Bishnoi, Special Projects Intern at Women Deliver

In a nation where an estimated 14,000 women die each year from pregnancy related causes, the Pakistan Initiative for Mothers and Newborns (PAIMAN) has worked to both improve the ability of the nation’s health care sector to better meet mothers’ needs and increase demand for maternal and reproductive health services. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Reaching Kenya’s Women With Reproductive Health Insurance

By: Madeline Taskier, Partnership Coordinator at Women Deliver kenyamother.jpg

Because of high healthcare costs, the poorest women in Kenya often do not have access to maternity care at any point during their pregnancies. On average, a Kenyan woman without health insurance must pay almost $350 USD in order to deliver in a private health facility -- the equivalent of what some Kenyans earn in one year’s salary. Since 2005, the Government of Kenya and the German Development Bank (KfW) have been trying to reduce these cost burdens for poor women with the Output-Based Aid (OBA) Voucher ProgramRead more...

Emergency in Japan: Keeping Women and Mothers Safe and Healthy

japanearthquake.jpgA 9.0 magnitude earthquake, which is the largest to hit Japan since records began, hit the north-east of the country on 11 March 2011. It was followed by a series of strong aftershocks, and also triggered a massive tsunami, which has destroyed most of the cities and villages on the north-east coast of Japan. During periods following a major natural disaster, women often lose access to basic health services, as public health and clinical care infrastructure are disrupted. Read more...

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