Women & Children


2014 Social Determinants of Health events

2014: Year of the Social Determinants of Health?

As I reflect on the major events of 2014, I’m surprised by the underlying themes of social inequality and a global desire to do things better. Read More


Adding it up: the costs and opportunities of universal access to contraception services

Ann Starrs, Guttmacher Institute | Despite significant improvements in access to contraceptive services over the past decade, there are still 225 million women living in Read More


Tuberculosis in pregnancy: an estimate of the global burden of disease

The burden of tuberculosis disease in pregnant women is substantial. Maternal care services could provide an important platform for tuberculosis detection, treatment initiation, and subsequent follow-up.


2014: Year of the Social Determinants of Health?

2014 Social Determinants of Health events

As I reflect on the major events of 2014, I’m surprised by the underlying themes of social inequality and a global desire to do things better. Read More

Save the Date and Prepare Your Abstract!

We are excited to announce the Global Maternal Newborn Health Conference will take place in Mexico City, October 18 to 21, 2015. The conference comes at a critical time when countries around the world are preparing for new, ambitious global targets: the Sustainable Development Goals. Our conference will provide the maternal and newborn health communities an opportunity to reflect on the successes and challenges of the Millennium Development Goals, while discussing priorities for the post-2015 global agenda. Mexico, the setting for our conference, is a recognized leader in maternal and newborn health, particularly in addressing issues of equity within and across population groups. Abstract submission will open in early 2015

Simple But Impactful: Transforming Nigeria’s Vaccine Supply Chain

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Vaccine supplies and logistics are a fundamental component of any immunization system. In Nigeria, any hope of achieving the goal of 87 percent vaccine coverage Read More

“If I Take My Medicine, I Will Be Strong: ” Evaluation of a Pediatric HIV Disclosure


Background: Despite known benefits, only a small proportion of HIV-infected children in sub-Saharan Africa know their status and limited disclosure interventions exist.

A scoping review of training and deployment policies for human resources for health for…

Background: Most African countries are facing a human resources for health (HRH) crisis, lacking the required workforce to deliver basic health care, including care for mothers and children.

Have stillbirth data? We need your help!

By Hannah Blencowe, Lecturer, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, together with the World Health Organization, with support from Saving Newborn Lives/Save the Children, are updating estimates of stillbirth rates at national level for the first time since 2009, with time trends and also timing of stillbirth  (intrapartum versus antepartum). The estimated 2.6 million stillbirths each year are an important part of the unfinished agenda for maternal and newborn health at the end of the Millennium Development Goals. Despite this, stillbirths have remained largely invisible on the global agenda. The Every Newborn Action Plan launched this year, along with a World Health Assembly Resolution, aims to support countries to end preventable maternal and neonatal deaths and stillbirths.

EVENT: Emerging Priorities for Maternal Health in Nigeria (Abuja and Washington, DC)

Wednesday, December 17th, 9am-11am ET The Wilson Center’s Maternal Health Initiative, in partnership with UNFPA and the Maternal Health Task Force, is heading to Abuja, Nigeria, to co-host a two-day workshop from December 16-17 with the Centre for Population and Reproductive Health. On December 17, Nigerian policymakers, community health workers, program managers, and donors will join us in a discussion about what’s needed to improve maternal health systems in a live video conference. Over the last decade, Nigeria has seen only modest improvements in maternal health. Despite innovative efforts such as the Midwives Service Scheme, SURE-P, and Saving One Million Lives, maternal mortality rates stand at 565 per 100,000 live births and modern contraceptive prevalence is just 10 percent. Advocacy for national political commitment has been ongoing and there have been efforts to improve provision for entitlements, expand infrastructure, and increase access to drugs, but the scale of the country makes progress difficult. With renewed commitment and concerted action, it’s possible for Nigeria to reach the goal of universal maternal health coverage, say Nigerian maternal health experts, but doing so will require focus on key areas of an unfinished agenda, including a strategic road-map to acquire universal access, and examination of critical policy issues and recommendations

Call for Posts: How a Woman-Centered Agenda Can Make Universal Health Coverage More Than a…

By Kathleen McDonald, Stacy Griswold, and Katie Millar As momentum builds towards the unveiling of the post-2015 agenda, the global health community has its eye on universal health coverage (UHC) as a priority for operationalizing the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Tomorrow, December 12, 2014, the global health community will launch the first ever Universal Health Coverage Day to advocate for health care to be accessible to all who seek it. The issue at hand is not whether UHC is achievable, but is ensuring that UHC researchers, implementers, and policy-makers collaborate to provide rich evidence to improve and ensure quality health care for all. In order to facilitate this collaboration, the Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) and USAID|TRAction brought to light the role of women in UHC at the Third Global Symposium on Health Systems Research in Cape Town, South Africa on September 30, 2014.

Human Rights Day: Addressing Gender-Based Violence in Maternal Care

This post is in commemoration of Human Rights Day and the importance of the last 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, which started off with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Disrespect and abuse in maternity care is an institutionalized form of gender violence. In addition, please find a round-up of recent news addressing human rights violations and gender violence at the end of this post. By Nevia Pavletic, Implementation Science Intern, TRAction Project. The fact that nearly one in three women globally has experienced intimate partner violence, a form of gender-based violence (GBV), is widely known

Adding it up: the costs and opportunities of universal access to contraception services


Ann Starrs, Guttmacher Institute | Despite significant improvements in access to contraceptive services over the past decade, there are still 225 million women living in Read More

WHO Releases World Malaria Report 2014

By Katie Millar, Technical Writer, MHTF Today, WHO released the annual World Malaria Report for 2014. This report reviews the state of malaria throughout the world and also provides 98 country profiles detailing epidemiologic, policy, financing, intervention coverage, and impact information. Preventing malaria through intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp) remains a key strategy and appears in the Roll Back Malaria objectives and targets for 2015. The key indicator for IPTp remains the same: the proportion of women who received at least three or more doses of IPTp during ANC visits during their last pregnancy. The report also summarizes the state of national IPTp policies.

Jobs and Scholarships in Maternal Health

Check out the following opportunities in Maternal Health Jobs Research Fellow in Qualitative Methods for Impact Evaluation, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Deadline: Thursday, December, 18th Research Fellow in Epidemiological Methods for Impact Evaluation, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Deadline: Thursday, December, 18th Senior Program Officer, Program Advocacy and Communications for Family Planning, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, PATH (based in South Africa) Communications Associate, Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action Project Director for Fistula Care Plus, EngenderHealth Urban Health Conference Scholarship Special Call for RMNCH Submissions for 12th International Conference on Urban Health, March 8-12, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Deadline: Friday, January 9th, 2015 Scholarships are available for applicants from developing countries whose abstracts are accepted for presentation Areas of special interest include addressing disparities in access to maternal, newborn, and child health services, quality of services, and programs that target youth sexual and reproductive health behaviors to prevent unintended pregnancy. Abstracts that address reproductive, maternal, neonatal and child health (RMNCH) in the urban environment, especially approaches that target poor women and women living in slums are encouraged. Questions?

Recent Maternal Health Events and Milestones Round-up

The maternal health community has been hard at work the last two weeks with several key events and exciting accomplishments. UN passes historic resolution on ending child marriage – November 21 In the 69th session of the General Assembly, 116 member states supported a historic resolution on ending child marriage. “The resolution marks the first time that UN member states have agreed upon substantive recommendations for the steps that countries, international organisations and others must take to address the problem. It also situates child marriage firmly within the post-2015 development agenda, recognising the need for a target to end child, early and forced marriage to be included in the final framework,” said Heather B. Hamilton, Global Coordinator of Girls No Brides.(girlsnotbrides.org) Collaborative commitments are critical since 15 million girls aged under 18 are married globally each year, cutting short their childhood and education and threatening their security

MHTF Leads JAIDS Supplement on HIV, Reproductive, and Maternal Health Services

By Katie Millar, Technical Writer, MHTF The Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) is pleased to announce the publication of a themed supplement to the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JAIDS) focused on the critical intersections between HIV, reproductive, and maternal health services in sub-Saharan Africa. The creation of the supplement was led by Dr. Tamil Kendall of the MHTF and co-edited by four researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health. This supplement is critical as 90% of pregnancies among HIV-positive women globally occur in sub-Saharan Africa. While we often speak of the importance of well-integrated HIV, reproductive, and maternal health care for the prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT), less attention is given to the impact of timely access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) on the life of the pregnant woman: the risk of maternal mortality is 6-8 times higher for a woman with HIV than an HIV-negative woman.

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