Author Archives: Maternal Health Task force

10 new opportunities in maternal health

Ten more new jobs to explore as you navigate your way through a career committed to maternal health. Leadership: Chief of Party, RMNCH: Pathfinder (Nigeria) Deputy Chief of Party, RMNCH: Pathfinder (Nigeria) Monitoring and Evaluation: Director of Monitoring and Evaluation, RMNCH: Pathfinder (Nigeria) Asia Portfolio Manager-Knowledge Management, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Research: EngenderHealth (India or Bangladesh) Monitoring & Evaluation Officer: EngenderHealth (India) Sr. Monitoring & Evaluation Advisor: Jhpiego (International Positions) Programs/Projects: Program Officer, FPRH: EngenderHealth (Mwanza,Tanzania) Senior Program Officer, Maternal and Child Survival Program: Jhpiego (Baltimore,MD,USA) Technical Advisors: Senior Technical Advisor , Maternal-Child Nutrition: CARE International (Atlanta,GA,USA) Technical Advisor, Global Learning Office: Jhpiego (Baltimore,MD,USA)  

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Misoprostol for postpartum hemorrhage: translating promise into reality

By Melissa Wanda, Advocacy Officer, Family Care International – Kenya In Kenya, where I work as an advocate for women’s health and rights, women continue to die during pregnancy and childbirth at alarming rates. Approximately 25% of these deaths are due to heavy bleeding following childbirth, also known as postpartum hemorrhage or PPH. More than half of women deliver at home; that proportion can be even higher in some counties with limited infrastructure and predominantly rural populations. Even in cases where a woman arrives to a health facility in time, she can still face significant barriers to receive the care she needs: supplies needed for childbirth—such as a blood pressure cuff or clean gloves—may not be available; essential medicines—such as oxytocin or misoprostol, which can prevent or treat postpartum bleeding—may be in short supply; and a skilled health provider may not be present to provide the care a woman needs to have a safe delivery.

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Managing postpartum hemorrhage at home deliveries in Chitral, Pakistan

By Meagan Byrne, Program Assistant, Gynuity Health Projects In Chitral district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Province, Pakistan, a high rate of home births translates to inadequate or nonexistent treatment for life-threatening obstetric complications, like postpartum hemorrhage (PPH). According to the 2012-13 Pakistan DHS report, nearly two-thirds of women deliver at home in rural areas of KP province. Customarily, home births are managed by a traditional birth attendant (TBA) and if a complication like PPH arises, the only care available is to transfer the woman to a higher level facility or have a skilled provider called to the woman’s home to administer oxytocin as treatment. In Chitral, many villages are located far from health centers and access to care is especially difficult due to poor infrastructure and limited transport. Faced with these barriers, women who develop PPH are rarely transferred to a facility, so having treatment options available at home is critical

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Spreading the message of the International Day for Maternal Health and Rights

By Katie Millar, Technical Writer, MHTF On April 11th, the world gathered to celebrate the second annual International Day for Maternal Health and Rights. Voices of maternal health groups from around the world called for recognition and action on human rights abuses that women suffer during pregnancy, labor and the time after birth. These voices were organized by the MHTF and CHANGE into a blog carnival during the week leading up to April 11th.  From health disparities in the U.S. to fighting stigma against HIV-positive women in India, 24 different blogs were shared that chronicled women’s experiences and the work we have left to do as the maternal health community

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Addressing disparities in the U.S. for maternal health and rights

By Natalie Ramm, Social Media Manager, MHTF As we approach the International Day of Maternal Health and Rights, we are reminded of the Manifesto for Maternal Health, item 6 of which states: A much greater emphasis must be put on reaching the unseen women who are socially excluded because of culture, geography, education, disabilities, and other driving forces of invisibility. If we are serious about redressing gender and access inequities, we have to ask fundamental and difficult questions about the nature of our societies and the value, or sometimes lack of value, we ascribe to individuals, especially women, in those societies. These disparities are especially apparent in the United States. While much global attention has focused on the 99% of maternal deaths that occur in low- and middle-income countries, the U.S. is one of the few countries where the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) has actually risen over the past decade

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Let’s reward the use of maternal health supplies

By Milka Dinev, LAC Forum Regional Advisor, Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition  During a donor visit to Peru in the year 2000, a maternal health supporter and friend saw that rural women in Peru were suffering and dying because they lacked access to safe maternal health services during the critical hours of childbirth. This young donor had recently had her children, so she decided to reward the unsung heroes who made extraordinary efforts to save the lives of women during childbirth. It would be the “Oscar” of maternal health and survival. The Sarah Faith Award was created to promote and reward the extraordinary efforts made by health providers and communities to save the lives of mothers and their children. For ten years, this award provided funding and technical assistance to the health teams and communities that had demonstrated teamwork and solidarity.

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15 new jobs in maternal health!

We value our MHTF community and to express our thanks, we’re always looking for ways to keep you engaged and moving forward in your career. Check out these 15 new positions in this week’s jobs post. Hopefully you’ll find something to make your next move a game changer. Country Director/Chief of Party Chief of Party, Policy, Advocacy and Communication, Reproductive Health: PATH (Dakar, Senegal) Country Director: Jhpiego (Liberia) Project Director/Manager Project Director, Policy, Advocacy and Communication, Reproductive Health: PATH (Washington, DC, USA) Deputy Project Director, Policy, Advocacy and Communications, Reproductive Health: PATH (Washington, DC, USA) Zanzibar Program Manager: D-tree International (Zanzibar, Tanzania) Senior Team Leader, Policy, Advocacy and Communications, Reproductive Health: PATH (Dakar, Senegal) Program Officer Senior Program Officer, Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health, India Job: Gates Foundation (New Delhi, India) Program Officer, Maternal Immunization Job: Gates Foundation (Seattle, WA, USA) Program Officer for Sexual, Reproductive and Maternal Health: CARE (Atlanta, GA) Program Coordinator: JSI (Rosslyn, VA, USA) Technical Advisor HIV and Sexual and Reproductive Health Technical Officer: Jhpiego (Namibia) Monitoring & Evaluation Advisor: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health – Center for Communication Programs (Baltimore, MD, USA) GBV Advisor: CARE (South Sudan) Evaluation Advisor, Nutrition Embedding Evaluation Program, MCHN: PATH (Washington, DC, USA) Monitoring and Evaluation Regional Officer: JSI (Windhoek, Namibia)

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The Myth of the Meager Maternal Health Market

By Deepti Tanuku, Program Director, USAID-Accelovate Mother in Sindh, Pakistan receiving quality care. Photo: Jhpiego. When I first entered this line of work, I often heard one thing: the maternal health market is way too small to be sustainable, much less lucrative. Naturally, one can only expect market failure for maternal health drugs and, by extension, a chronic situation of limited access to lifesaving medicines among those most in need. However, I disagree.

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Brand new size at birth standards will improve neonatal health

By Katie Millar, Technical Writer, MHTF Newborn size at birth standards are now available from the INTERGROWTH-21st project. This package includes size charts, standards and z-scores for newborn length, weight and head circumference at birth for boys and girls. These standards—based on a multicenter, multi-ethnic, population-based study—are the first global standards for newborn growth and debunk the myth that fetal and newborn growth differs by race and country of origin. In fact, results from the INTERGROWTH-21st project show that if a woman is healthy, the size and growth of her newborn should be consistent, no matter where she lives. The newborn size at birth standards are currently in use at Oxford.

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Wilson Center Event: Integrating Mental Health into Maternal Health Programs

In order to address one of the most common health problems in pregnancy, mental health, we’re excited to announce an upcoming policy dialogue, Integrating Mental Health into Maternal Health Programs, on Thursday, April 9th at the Wilson Center in Washington, DC. This dialogue is part of our partnership with UNFPA and the Wilson Center, which was recently voted the #1 think tank in the United States and one of the top ten think tanks in the world. Interested in attending? RSVP and see the invitation from the Wilson Center below to learn more details about how to participate in the event.

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Changing incentives: Creating a market for high quality oxytocin

By Celina Schocken and Courtney Chang, Jhpiego Oxytocin is the first-line drug for the prevention and treatment of postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) and is widely available in developing countries. There is a large market for oxytocin and there are many manufacturers of the drug; however, there are growing concerns that products are not in good condition when they are injected, either because of poor manufacturing or degradation along the supply chain. Issues with inconsistent oxytocin quality In 2012, a study by US Pharmacopeia and the Ghanaian Food and Drug Authority found that only 8% of oxytocin samples in Ghana had market authorization. The majority (97.5%) of samples failed either assay or sterility testing and over 55% of samples failed their physio-chemical assay.

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Call for abstracts now open for the Global Maternal Newborn Health Conference!

The Global Maternal Newborn Health Conference organizers are pleased to announce that the abstract submission period is now open! Abstracts may be submitted for five different types of presentations: Oral presentation Poster presentation Pre-formed panel Skills demonstration Marketplace of ideas Abstracts should address topics within at least one of the six conference tracks: Innovating to accelerate impact at scale Measuring for evaluation and accountability Bridging equity divides Generating new evidence to fill critical knowledge gaps Strengthening demand for health care Increasing health systems’ capacity to respond to population need The submission period will close at midnight EST on April 24, 2015. All abstracts must be received through the online form. Abstracts should be submitted in English if possible, although abstracts in Spanish and French will be accepted. A maximum of two abstract submissions per person is permitted.

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Improving Access to Maternal Health Commodities through a Systems Approach: Where are we now?

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By Beth Yeager, Principal Technical Advisor, Management Sciences for Health & Chair, Maternal Health Supplies Caucus, Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition Nearly three years ago, I blogged about a systems approach to improving access for a Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) series on maternal health commodities: Increasing access to essential medicines and supplies for maternal health requires a systems approach that includes: improving governance of pharmaceutical systems, strengthening supply chain management, increasing the availability of information for decision-making, developing appropriate financing strategies and promoting rational use of medicines and supplies. It was an exciting year for maternal health. The UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children (UNCoLSC) had just released its report with 10 recommendations for improving access to 13 priority commodities that included 3 for maternal health: oxytocin, misoprostol and magnesium sulfate.  The UNCoLSC report also reflected the idea that a systems approach was necessary and included recommendations related to both upstream and downstream supply chain bottlenecks, information, financing and appropriate use. That same year, the Maternal Health Supplies Caucus of the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition held its first membership meeting in October for the purpose of joining the maternal health and family planning communities to “draw on existing approaches to address the bottlenecks undermining commodity security across health systems.” Since then, great progress has been made in identifying the bottlenecks to access, raising awareness of the complexity of addressing these challenges and increasing global commitment to ending preventable maternal deaths as part of the post-2015 development agenda. Improving governance With respect to governance, through the efforts of the UNCoLSC to promote coordinated national strategies for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (RMNCH), the need for coordinated planning among all stakeholders, including measures of accountability, has come to the forefront

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Upcoming Event: South Asia Consultation on Maternal Health: Regional Dialogue and Way Forward

We’re excited to announce an upcoming policy dialogue on maternal health priorities for South Asia on Tuesday, March 31st. This dialogue is part of our partnership with UNFPA and the Wilson Center, which was recently voted the #1 think tank in the United States and one of the top ten think tanks in the world. Interested in attending? RSVP and see the invitation from the Wilson Center below to learn more details about how to participate in the event.

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