Written by Natalie Ramm, MHTF, and Kathleen McDonald, MHTF The connection between gender-based violence and quality sexual, reproductive and maternal health care is important to remember as we celebrate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. In addition to overt acts of violence against women, like sexual assault, there are often more subtle instances of violence—such as disrespect and abuse (D&A) during pregnancy and childbirth—that negatively impact women’s health. For example, in many countries there is often not adequate staff at health facilities to attend to all women’s needs, so that some women deliver alone without a skilled birth attendant. In countries like Tanzania, D&A has been listed among the top reasons why women do not seek out skilled care during childbirth. When women give birth without a skilled birth attendant, or are abused at the hands of a provider, their survival and their infant’s survival is threatened
Author Archives: Maternal Health Task force
Looking for a job in maternal health? Here’s a round up of what’s available: Jhpiego – Maternal Health Team Leader; Program Officer II CARE – Senior Technical Advisor for Maternal and Child Health; Senior Technical Advisor for Maternal and Child Nutrition Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – Senior Program Officer, Maternal Newborn and Child Health Merck for Mothers – Director To apply, go to this link. Select “Merck Kenilworth” as Location and “Long Term Assignment” as Position Type. Click “search” and select Job Number 301.
In times of crisis, such as conflict, natural disaster, or an epidemic, critical maternal and reproductive health services often become unavailable. For pregnant women, the probability of mortality or morbidity increases; gender-based violence is more common for all, while justice is delayed or ignored; and humanitarian actors try to balance a range of immediate concerns which don’t usually include women’s health. Join us as an expert panel discusses the challenges and interventions available to deliver maternal and reproductive health services and address gender-based violence in times of crisis. We are particularly excited that John Welch–chief clinical officer for Partners in Health’s response to Ebola in Liberia–will be joining the panel and discussing the implications of Ebola on women’s health in Liberia.
By Katie Millar, Technical Writer, MHTF As the world recognizes World Prematurity Day today, the Maternal Health Task Force is ever mindful of the key role a woman’s and mother’s health plays in the prevention of premature birth. While improving neonatal care and promoting interventions—such as kangaroo care are important—the rising rate of preterm births suggests prevention is key for decreasing neonatal mortality rates. And what would prevention be without ensuring the health of the woman before and during pregnancy? The health of a pregnant woman is paramount, not only for her own survival and health, but also to prevent the number one killer of neonates: prematurity.
By Ana Langer, Director, Maternal Health Task Force and Joy Riggs-Perla, Director, Save the Children’s Saving Newborn Lives program. This post is part of the Maternal and Newborn Integration Blog Series, which shares themes of and reactions to the “Integration of Maternal and Newborn Health: In Pursuit of Quality” technical meeting. “Students often ask me, how come a neonatologist is working on maternal health? To me the response is obvious. When I was a clinician, most of my interactions were with the mothers
Disrespect and abuse during childbirth is not only a human rights violation, but also has significant implications for maternal and neonatal health. Join the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE) this Tuesday, November 11th, from 10 A.M. to 12 P.M. EST for their webinar, “Disrespect & Abuse during Childbirth: Emerging Evidence to Inform Policy Advocacy.” This webinar will feature experts from Columbia University, Population Council, the World Health Organization (WHO), and CHANGE. Through this webinar you will be able to effectively understand and advocate for policy change by becoming familiar with recent research on disrespect and abuse from the field
This post is part of the Maternal and Newborn Integration Blog Series, which shares themes of and reactions to the “Integration of Maternal and Newborn Health: In Pursuit of Quality” technical meeting By Mohammod Shahidullah, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neonatology, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University A new mother and her six-day-old baby receive a postnatal check up at the new government clinic in Badulpur, Habijganj, Bangladesh. Photo: CJ Clarke/Save the Children The continuum of care has become a rallying call to reduce the maternal deaths, stillbirths, neonatal deaths, and child deaths. Continuity of care is necessary throughout the lifecycle (adolescence, pregnancy, childbirth, the postnatal period, and childhood) and also between places of caregiving (including households and communities, outpatient and outreach services, and clinical-care settings). Within the continuum, all women should have access to care during pregnancy and childbirth, and all babies should be able to grow into children who survive and thrive. Unfortunately in the modern era of medical science, the program efforts addressing the health of mothers and newborns are often planned, managed, and delivered separately; though, from a biological perspective, maternal and newborn health are intimately linked.
By Katie Millar, Technical Writer, MHTF As public health professionals, we know how important it is to engage stakeholders to create sustainable change and progress for maternal and newborn health. Recognizing the power of convening stakeholders, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently published, “Multi-Stakeholder Dialogues for Women’s and Children’s Health: A Guide for Conveners and Facilitators.” This guide is particularly useful for convening stakeholders at the sub-national and national levels to promote women’s and children’s health initiatives, identify challenges, facilitate consensus on actions for improving health, improve implementation of essential RMNCH interventions, and create a framework for accountability and results. Use this guide to help you plan and facilitate stakeholder dialogues with these three useful steps: Laying the groundwork: Learn how to best plan, conduct an initial assessemnt, and chose a meeting faciltator. Design and facilitation: This section will help you design a dialogue process, discuss the priority interests, facilitate reaching consensus, and creating a strategy for implementing agreed upon priorities and actions.
By Rornald Muhumuza Kananura In the blog—Who is to blame for the Poor Health Workers Attitudes and how can we cure This Disease by Dr. Elizabeth Ekirapa-Kiracho—it was indicated that some women have opted to give birth at home rather than face the wrath of health workers. This is true. Through the voices of community and health workers’ voices, I will share with you maternal and newborn challenges based on the experience from the implementation of a maternal and newborn care project in rural communities of Uganda. Dr.
By Heather Randall, New Security Beat The MHTF along with UNFPA worked with The Wilson Center to sponsor this policy dialogue. Imagine you are a physician working in a rural health center in a developing country. You’re helping a woman deliver her baby, and it’s just arrived but is not breathing. Meanwhile, the mother has started to hemorrhage.
By Emily Maistrellis, Policy Coordinator, FXB Center for Health and Human Rights A health worker interviews a client at a health care facility in Tharaka, Kenya. (Photo: Family Care International) Walif was only 16 and his younger sister, Nassim, just 11 when their mother died in childbirth in Butajira, Ethiopia. Both Walif and Nassim had been promising students, especially Walif, who had hoped to score high on the national civil service exam after completing secondary school. But following the death of their mother, their father left them to go live with a second wife in the countryside.
By Cecilia Garcia Ruiz, Gender Projects Coordinator, Espolea Working on the phenomenon of adolescent and young motherhood requires a deep understanding of the various structural factors leading to early pregnancies and parenting. As my team and I have carried out our project, the first challenge we faced was the invisibility of teenage and young mothers as key populations within the country’s sexual and reproductive health policies. What we learned from this was the importance of exploring the diverse realities of the adolescent and young mothers in Mexico, while contextualizing the strategies aimed at promoting and ensuring their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). An example is identifying potential protective (e.g. family and community networks) or risk factors (e.g
Are you interested in working in maternal and newborn health? At the MHTF, we like to encourage knowledgeable and capable people, like yourself, to join the field and pursue new opportunities. Please find a list of some of the current job openings in maternal health below: Management Sciences for Health: Director of Grants and Contracts in Uganda. See more jobs at MSH. Pathfinder International: Chief of Party in Kenya Jhpiego: Program Officer in the US; Senior Monitoring & Evaluation Advisor in the US World Health Organization: National Consultant, Maternal and Neonatal Health in Ethiopia Save the Children: Advisor, Newborn MCSP; Coordinator, MCSP March of Dimes: State Director of Program Services in Alabama, US Have you or your organization recently posted a job opening?
By Moustapha Diallo, Country Director, EngenderHealth|Guinea; and Ellen Brazier, Senior Technical Advisor for Community Engagement, EngenderHealth EngenderHealth’s Fistula Care Plus project recently published the results of two studies in Guinea, one examining factors associated with institutional delivery and another investigating the effect of an intervention to build the capacity of community-level volunteers to promote maternal health care-seeking. Community empowerment and participation has long been recognized as a fundamental component of good health programming and as a critical strategy for improving access to and use of health services. However, as Susan B. Rifkin notes in a 2014 review of the literature, evidence directly linking community participation to improved health outcomes remains weak. For maternal health, the evidence gap is particularly acute