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C-section trends in 21 countries: a secondary analysis of two WHO multicountry surveys

Use of the Robson classification to assess caesarean section trends in 21 countries: a secondary analysis of two WHO multicountry surveys – The Lancet Global Read More

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Friday Think: this $20 device could save a mother’s life

A lifesaver that replicates a traffic light A new technology has been given a green light in England. And a red and yellow light as well. It’s a device that could deliver lifesaving impact to thousands of women during childbirth. … Continue reading » ; ; ; ;Related StoriesFriday Think: what Disney World and systems strengthening have in commonTask-shifting: an effective way to protect expecting mothers from malariaFriday Think: a “clinic on wheels” packs a punch at poverty ;

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

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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U.S. Investments Helping Improve Contraception, Family Planning Access In Senegal

IntraHealth International’s “Vital”: U.S. and Senegalese Investments in Family Planning Are Paying Off Sara Stratton, director of West and Southern Africa programs at IntraHealth International, writes, “In Francophone West Africa, acceptance of family planning and use of modern contraception has been increasing over the last four years. … This would not have been possible without…More


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)  


Clean Cookstoves Can Benefit Health Of Women, Children In Nepal

Inter Press Service: Clean Cookstoves Could Change the Lives of Millions in Nepal “…According to the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, over 80 percent of Nepali people use solid fuels such as wood and cow dung for cooking. In this country of 28 million, over 75 percent of households cook indoors, and 90 percent cook…More


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.


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


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


West African Nations Making Progress In Improving Access To, Use Of Modern Family Planning…

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: Catching the Wave: Family Planning is Taking Off in West Africa David J. Olson, a freelance consultant for Olson Global Communication, discusses access to contraception in West Africa and how initiatives like the Ougadougou Partnership are helping to promote modern family planning practices in the region (4/13).


Guttmacher Fact Sheet Examines U.S. International Family Planning Assistance

Guttmacher Institute: Just the Numbers: The Impact of U.S. International Family Planning Assistance This fact sheet examines the benefits of U.S. international family planning assistance and the potential consequences of cutting such aid (4/10).


USAID Official Discusses Sexual, Reproductive Health, Rights And SDGs In Wilson Center Podcast

Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program’s “New Security Beat”: Ellen Starbird: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Undergird Success of SDGs Schuyler Null, editor of New Security Beat and a writer/editor for the Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program and Maternal Health Initiative, writes, “‘Advancing reproductive health and family planning can positively…More


C-section trends in 21 countries: a secondary analysis of two WHO multicountry surveys

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Use of the Robson classification to assess caesarean section trends in 21 countries: a secondary analysis of two WHO multicountry surveys – The Lancet Global Read More


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


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.


Initial experiences and innovations in supervising community health workers for maternal,…

Background: Supervision is meant to improve the performance and motivation of community health workers (CHWs).


Seeing the Big Picture Just Became Easier with Ultrasound

MDG Women Deliver maternal health

Providing high quality antenatal care for expectant Mothers is a fundamental part of ensuring a safe delivery, and a healthy mom postpartum. In order to do that, some innovative products have been introduced for low resource settings. There’s no denying the importance of ultrasound technology during pregnancy. However, until fairly recently, it has been out of reach for many caregivers due to high cost, or complex application. We’re very pleased to announce that has all changed


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