The Lancet today [Friday 17 May, 2013] publishes a special theme issue ahead of the 2013 Women Deliver conference, to be held May 28 – 30 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Women Deliver brings together voices from around the world to call for action to improve the health and well-being of girls and women, and the latest issue of The Lancet highlights some of the latest research and views on maternal health. Read more...
May 17th, 2013
May 17th, 2013
Women in Poorest Countries Who Want to Avoid Pregnancy Are Three Times as Likely to Have an Unmet Need for Modern Methods as Women in Higher-Income Developing Countries
A new study by the Guttmacher Institute finds that within the developing world, the poorest countries are lagging far behind higher-income developing countries in meeting the demand for modern contraception. Between 2003 and 2012, the total number of women wanting to avoid pregnancy and in need of contraception increased from 716 million to 867 million, with growth concentrated among women in the 69 poorest countries where modern method use was already very low. The study, "Trends in Contraceptive Need and Use in Developing Countries in 2003, 2008, 2012: An Analysis of National Surveys" by Jacqueline E. Darroch and Susheela Singh, is published in the latest issue of The Lancet. Read more...
March 25th, 2013
By: Harshi Hettige, Women Deliver
A study by SHOPS Project shows that the private sector plays a vital, although varied, role in addressing the HIV pandemic. There is less data on private health providers that offer HIV counselling and testing, however research reveals that this approach should be celebrated and taken advantage of as a solution. Doug Johnson and Xi Cheng conducted research in 18 developing countries and analysed data from 2005 to 2011. Read more...
August 28th, 2012
Since the first Women Deliver conference in October 2007, governments, civil society, and the private sector have all made dramatic advances in improving maternal health, and the lives of girls and women. Although maternal deaths are on the decline, slow progress in many countries called for the second Women Deliver conference in 2010, which lead to more commitments from across sectors to changing the maternal health outlook. The third Women Deliver conference will take place from May 28 – 30, 2013, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, focusing on the links between improving maternal health and other development goals. Read more...
August 27th, 2012
By: Smita Gaith, Women Deliver
Maternal health and mental health are inextricably linked – pregnant and postnatal women often suffer from common mental disorders like anxiety, depression, and other issues. But, all too often, these disorders go undiagnosed and untreated. Maternal suicide is the leading cause of death in the perinatal period, and there is a growing body of evidence to support the need for maternal mental health support in low- and middle-income countries.
August 22nd, 2012
By: Dr. Aoife Kenny, a maternal health advocate and clinician in New Zealand
Pregnancy and childbirth can be dangerous, no matter where you are in the world. But it is the ability to deal with, or better yet prevent, things from going wrong that makes the difference.
A study published in BJOG, the International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, in July 2012 highlights an exciting development for women worldwide. Read more...
August 20th, 2012
The new constitution of Somalia officially bans female genital cutting/female genital mutilation (FGC/FGM). Under Article 15, the constitution explicitly states “Circumcision of girls is a cruel and degrading customary practice, and is tantamount to torture. The circumcision of girls is prohibited.”
According to the World Health Organization, about 140 million girls and women worldwide have been directly impacted and are living with “consequences” of FGM. In the African continent alone, 92 million girls age 10 and older have undergone the procedure, with most procedures happening between infancy and the 15 years. Read more...
July 10th, 2012
A new series by the Lancet called Family Planning has been published and released on the eve of the UK Family Planning Summit.
The series reviews evidence of the impact of family planning on population health and the environment. “Family Planning” provides a look at a combination of articles that represent the latest thinking behind the UK Family Planning Summit, demonstrating the negative consequences of an unmet need for access to family planning. Read more...
June 27th, 2012
The Lancet, a scientific journal, has joined an international team of 35 researchers in creating a special series on midwifery for May/June 2013.
The collaboration, which is supported by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will examine important areas of reproductive, maternal and newborn care that are within the scope of midwifery services, and increase the evidence available to guide and promote development of midwifery services, in order to improve maternal, newborn, and infant health outcomes. Read more...
June 18th, 2012
By: Smita Gaith, Women Deliver
Of the 287,000 maternal deaths that occur every year, 320 take place in Ecuador, and 8800 in the entire Latin America and the Caribbean region. Post-partum hemorrhage has been identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of the leading and yet most preventable causes of maternal death, accounting for nearly 21 percent of maternal mortality in the Latin America and Caribbean region. Read more...
September 9th, 2011
A new report released by the Guttmacher Institute and Fundación Oriéntame assesses that the number of induced abortions in Colombia rose between 1989 and 2008. Despite this, the country’s abortion rate rose only minimally; indicating a rise in the number of reproductive aged women as the reason for growth. Unintended Pregnancy and Induced Abortion in Colombia: Causes and Consequences, points to the criminal nature of abortions by the Colombian government as the major source of complications and health risks to women. Read more...
August 30th, 2011
If questions like why women make up the majority of unpaid workers worldwide and why only one in five lawmakers globally are women leave you perplexed and—quite frankly—mad, tune and make your voice heard during the World Bank’s Open Forum, “Gender – Getting to Equal,” on Sept. 20th and 21st. Read more...
August 10th, 2011
A new study from the USAID Health Care Improvement Project shows that a quality improvement method widely used in the US called collaborative improvement is also effective in low- and middle-income countries. The fundamental concept underlying the field of improvement is that a system left unchanged can only be expected to continue to produce the same results. Read more…
April 14th, 2011
Today, The Lancet launched a new series on stillbirths. In six series papers, two research articles, and eight comments, global health experts illustrate how stillbirths have been rendered invisible in the global health arena, and what can be done to bring these tragedies to light. Through new analysis of stillbirth occurrences, success stories and lessons learned from around the world, with a focus on the poor and marginalized, The Lancet Stillbirth Series is a call to action that we cannot afford to ignore. Read more...
October 1st, 2010
A new report published in The Lancet reveals that Official Development Assistance (ODA) in support of maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) programs increased in 2007 and 2008, yet concerns persist over how countries are prioritized. ODA for MNCH programs increased from $4.7 billion in 2007 to $5.4 billion in 2008 for all developing countries, with Countdown priority countries receiving 71.6% of MNCH aid in 2007, and 75.6% in 2008. Increased flows of ODA are in large part due to the efforts emerging from the Accra Agenda for Action and the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, which also called for a larger proportion of MNCH ODA to be disbursed as grants, not loans. Read more...
September 17th, 2010
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.
September 17th, 2010
The MHTF is soliciting reactions from the maternal health community to the newly released UN MMR data. Our hope is that, together, these comments will serve as a springboard for discussion and provide momentum towards MDG5.
By: Jill Sheffield, President, Women Deliver; originally posted at the MHTF Blog
There’s no doubt that this is excellent news. The new UN maternal mortality figures further confirm the trend that the IHME data suggested earlier this year: there is a global downward trend in maternal mortality. Who could be disappointed with that? Our hard work over the past decades is paying off.
But great news doesn’t detract from the persistent need for good, accurate, and real-time data in the maternal health field. Figures we have are estimates based, for many countries, on low-quality and incomplete data, or they are numbers derived from data models. Read more...
September 16th, 2010
We welcome this good news of declining numbers of mothers’ deaths. It is proof that worldwide, we know what to do to save women’s lives: investing in women pays off. The bad news is that we aren’t yet doing enough of it, because a thousand women still die every day in pregnancy and childbirth – more than 350,000 every year. Our mission is far from complete. Read more...
September 15th, 2010
The number of women dying due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth has decreased by 34 per cent from an estimated 546 000 in 1990 to 358 000 in 2008, according to a new report, "Trends in maternal mortality", released by the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the World Bank.
August 26th, 2010
A new study released by the Population Council, New Delhi shows that young, unmarried women in India encounter barriers to obtaining an abortion procedure early in their pregnancies. The study took place in Jharkand and Bihar, surveying 549 unmarried women who had an abortion between 2007 and 2008. Delayed recognition of pregnancy, lack of awareness that abortion is legal for unmarried women, and lack of support from partners were cited as factors that contributed to women accessing abortions later in their pregnancies.
The researchers believe these findings emphasize the need for increased sex education programs for unmarried young women in a variety of forums. Improved programs should work to bolster communication about sexual health between young women and their family members, especially their parents. These programs should not only include information about reproductive physiology, but also information on access and legal rights to abortion.