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Beyond new facilities: Helping politicians understand universal health coverage

By Dr. Oluwadamilola O. Olagoun, Project Manager, White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood This post is part of the Woman-Centered Universal Health Coverage Series, hosted by the Maternal Health Task Force and USAID|TRAction, which discusses the importance of utilizing a woman-centered agenda to operationalize universal health coverage. To contribute a post, contact Katie Millar.

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Fighting and Islamic State force 670,000 Syrian children from schools

The simple act of going to school is getting harder and more dangerous for children in Syria. At least 68 attacks were leveled against schools in 2014 and some 670,000 children have recently experienced disruptions to their education, warns the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The group says at least 160 children were killed at school last

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International Health Care Systems: Selected Measures

An interactive graphic presents characteristics of selected health care systems from around the world, as well as health outcomes achieved in each country covered in Read More

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Twelve new jobs in maternal health!

Every other Friday we bring to you some of the latest job openings in maternal and reproductive health. Check out the international postings below: Country Program Officer: JSI (Rosslyn, VA, USA) Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist: JSI (Arlington, VA, USA) Technical Director – SEUHP: JSI (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) Senior Technical Advisor for Maternal and Child Health: CARE (International) Senior Policy Advocate: CARE (Washington, D.C., USA) Senior MNH/RH/FP Specialist (Expressions of Interest): EngenderHealth (Indonesia) Monitoring & Evaluation Officer: EngenderHealth (Bihar, India) Senior Program Officer, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health:  Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Seattle, WA, USA) Program Officer, Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (New Delhi, India) Program Officer, Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition: PATH (Brussels, Belgium) Research Utilization Specialist, Reproductive Health: PATH (Washington, D.C., USA) Research Officer: PATH (Johannesburg, South Africa)


Religious Opposition Continues Against Philippines’ Reproductive Health Law, Efforts To…

GroundTruth Project/PRI: Catholic leaders battle against free birth control in the Philippines “…[T]he unmet need for birth control may become a thing of the past as the Philippines begins to roll out free contraception under its new reproductive health law. … The path to free family planning services for the poor wasn’t an easy one.…More


New Lancet commentary makes link between Ebola and women’s health

By Katie Millar, Technical Writer, MHTF The Ebola epidemic that is currently ravaging Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea has devastated these nations and their health systems. While Ebola’s destruction has reached far beyond the health system into other critical sectors, it is without a doubt women and their children who are suffering the greatest burden of this disease and its effects. Today, The Lancet published a commentary that describes the socioeconomic, biologic and health systems connections between women’s health and the current Ebola epidemic. Ana Langer, Director of the MTHF, joined with her colleagues at ISGlobal and the Centro de Investigação em Saúde de Manhiça to author the paper, which describes the reasons why the majority of those infected with Ebola are women and how the outbreak has increased the obstacles women face in accessing the health system. The authors expound: First, the worsening of suboptimal access to reproductive and maternal health care in the Ebola crisis countries is posing a major threat to the lives of mothers and infants.


TFCH improves Maternal health in Nigeria with Solar Delivery Lights from Maternova, Inc.

Knowing the electricity challenges in our rural communities, women in labor and the midwives finds it very difficult during delivery of the newborn. Its been a trend that pregnant mothers are mandated to buy “Candles” as part of the listed items for delivery. The candle of course provides light in case labor comes at night. Where the mother is not able to buy the candle, the local lights known as “npanaka” used mainly by rural dwellers which produces dangerous fumes that causes carbon monoxide poisoning are regularly used. This local lights is known to be very dangerous to the health of the newborn , mother and health worker


Many Women Worldwide Prefer Contraception Use Over Natural Family Planning

The Guardian: Why I agree with the Pope on family planning — up to a point Faustina Fynn Nyame, country director of Marie Stopes Kenya “…[I]n a lot of ways Pope Francis and I are in complete agreement. We both want to see happy children raised in happy homes: children who are able to grow…More


Parasite harms reproductive health and increases HIV risk

By Sally Theobald, COUNTDOWN Consortium & Research in Gender and Ethics: Building stronger health systems (RinGs), Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine This post is part of the Woman-Centered Universal Health Coverage Series, hosted by the Maternal Health Task Force and USAID|TRAction, which discusses the importance of utilizing a woman-centered agenda to operationalize universal health coverage. To contribute a post, contact Katie Millar. New mother in Zimbabwe is tested for HIV. Photo: Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation I spent many of my teenage years living in Malawi, enjoying swimming in beautiful Lake Malawi. Wind on to age 30, and I was struggling to get pregnant.


Chinese Health Officials Say Country’s Gender Imbalance ‘Serious,’ Implicating One-Child…

Reuters: China says its gender imbalance ‘most serious’ in the world “Chinese health authorities on Wednesday described the gender imbalance among newborns as ‘the most serious and prolonged’ in the world, a direct ramification of the country’s strict one-child policy. The statement will add to growing calls for the government to scrap all family planning…More


Beyond new facilities: Helping politicians understand universal health coverage

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By Dr. Oluwadamilola O. Olagoun, Project Manager, White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood This post is part of the Woman-Centered Universal Health Coverage Series, hosted by the Maternal Health Task Force and USAID|TRAction, which discusses the importance of utilizing a woman-centered agenda to operationalize universal health coverage. To contribute a post, contact Katie Millar.


Catholic Church’s Stance Against Contraception Not License For Large Families, Pope Says

International Business Times: Pope Francis Suggests Natural Family Planning Instead Of Breeding ‘Like Rabbits’ “Pope Francis doesn’t want members of the Catholic faith to feel they have to ‘breed like rabbits’ because of the church’s contraception ban. Instead, he suggested natural family planning strategies…” (Elise, 1/19). Reuters: Pope says birth control ban doesn’t mean breed…More


Malawian Mentor Mothers – Their Inspiring Role in the Fight to Empower Women and End…

During one of the first Still Harbor sessions at Global Health Corps’ Training Institute in June of 2014, we were asked to think about our heroes. My mind immediately went to the easy, obvious choices – the type of person who is idolized by many and has had a tremendous impact on society – like Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, and Mahatma Gandhi. Then the facilitator clarified that a hero should be someone who has actually made an impact on my life. This proved to be a bit more challenging as I asked myself, what qualities does a person possess to make them a hero?


Involved in medicine or midwifery? Fill out this survey!

After convening at the International Society of Obstetric Medicine Conference last October, the Global Obstetric Medicine group endeavours now to understand the global landscape of Obstetric Medicine—particularly in low- and middle-income countries—in order to determine training, learning and resource needs. Obstetric Medicine is an emerging specialty that focuses on the care of the obstetric patient with medical disorders, whether these disorders are pre-existing or arising in pregnancy. To facilitate this endeavour, the group is hoping that you will complete this brief survey regarding provision of Obstetric Medicine services in your locality. The survey should not take more than 5 minutes. A lack of awareness regarding the contribution of  Obstetric Medicine has been suggested as one of the factors contributing to pregnancy-related morbidity and mortality. In addition, specialised Obstetric Medicine does not exist in many countries and management is distributed amongst a range of health care providers with variable expertise.


How do you translate research into practice? Here are five ways.

By Katie Millar, Technical Writer, MHTF Over the last three weeks, we’ve heard from authors around the world who have seen concrete practice and policy results from their articles in our MHTF-PLOS Collection for Maternal Health. Our Translating Research into Practice Series featured these authors and the influence of their papers. Find a summary of the collection below. From inaction to advocacy: placing women and children at the center of sustainable development While a maternal death is devastating in its own right, a mother’s death is not an isolated event; when a mother dies there are immediate and lasting repercussions for her children, her family, and the broader community. As the dawn of the Sustainable Development Goals fast approaches, it is important that we turn to evidence from the Impacts of Maternal Death on Living Children Study to inform advocacy efforts toward the inclusion of women’s reproductive health and gender equality as a central, fundamental part of global development


Women, girls and universal health coverage: Who is accountable?

By Belkis Giorgis, Global Technical Lead for Gender, and Fabio Castaño, Global Technical Lead for Family Planning and Reproductive Health, Management Sciences for Health (MSH) This post is part of the Woman-Centered Universal Health Coverage Series, hosted by the Maternal Health Task Force and USAID|TRAction, which discusses the importance of utilizing a woman-centered agenda to operationalize universal health coverage. To contribute a post, contact Katie Millar. Who is accountable for the young woman dying during childbirth in a hospital in Lusaka, Zambia? For the woman in a health center in Bugiri in Uganda? For the girl child in a rural home in Uttar Pradesh, India?


Improving Maternal, Newborn Survival Requires Training, Community Buy-In For Lifesaving…

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: Making Childbirth Safer: It Takes a Sales Force Atul Gawande, executive director of Ariadne Labs; Vishwajeet Kumar, founder and CEO of Community Empowerment Lab; Ruth Landy, principal at Strategic Communication for Social Impact; and Mariam Claeson, director of the MNCH team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,…More


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