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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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The Guardian Examines Progress On Gender Equality Under MDG3

The Guardian: What is the Millennium Development Goal on gender equality all about? This fact sheet discusses MDG3 on gender equality, progress toward the targets, shortcomings of the goal, and how MDG3 will be represented in the Sustainable Development Goals (Ford, 3/26). The Guardian: Have the Millennium Development Goals empowered women? “…Six of the eight…More

lancet

Placing women at the centre of the food system

Marc Van Ameringen | “Each year International Women’s Day shines a spotlight on women, putting them at the centre of development and equality efforts. For Read More

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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.


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

Image maternalhealth.png

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


The Guardian Examines Progress On Gender Equality Under MDG3

Image African-women-farmers-300x199.jpg

The Guardian: What is the Millennium Development Goal on gender equality all about? This fact sheet discusses MDG3 on gender equality, progress toward the targets, shortcomings of the goal, and how MDG3 will be represented in the Sustainable Development Goals (Ford, 3/26). The Guardian: Have the Millennium Development Goals empowered women? “…Six of the eight…More


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.


Global Community Must Provide Knowledge Of, Access To Contraceptives For Women In Developing…

The Guardian: Westerners don’t appreciate how amazing contraception is Faustina Fynn-Nyame, Kenya country director for Marie Stopes International “…Women in Africa want contraception. While the West waffles on about providing aid for family planning, Africans are asking for it. … As someone who has lived and worked in clinics from Brixton to Accra, the main…More


Making connections: Ensuring access to reproductive and maternal health supplies

By Shafia Rashid, Senior Program Officer, Global Advocacy, Family Care International This post is part of the blog series “Increasing access to maternal and reproductive health supplies: Leveraging lessons learned in preventing maternal mortality,” hosted by the Maternal Health Task Force, Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition/Maternal Health Supplies Caucus, Family Care International and the USAID-Accelovate program at Jhpiego which discusses the importance and methods of reaching women with lifesaving reproductive and maternal health supplies in the context of the proposed new global target of fewer than 70 maternal deaths per 100,000 births by 2030. To contribute a post, contact Katie Millar. The past ten years have witnessed impressive gains in the availability and use of reproductive health supplies like condoms and oral contraceptives that allow men and women to safely and effectively prevent or space pregnancies. As a result of concerted efforts by many partners, contraceptive prevalence rates have risen over 60% in countries around the world. These dramatic successes in improving access to reproductive health supplies can shed important lessons and guidance for those working to ensure that life-saving maternal health medicines — including, oxytocin, misoprostol and magnesium sulfate — are available to all women, when they need them and wherever they give birth.


Get a job in maternal health!

Check out these opportunities to build your career on maternal health! Epidemiologist: Department of Health and Human Services – Rockville, MD, USA Research Senior Research Program Coordinator: Women’s and Children’s Health Policy Center at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health – Baltimore, MD, USA Research Coordinator: Girl Empower – Monrovia and Ganta, Liberia Research Assistant: Jhpiego – Baltimore, MD, USA Monitoring and Evaluation Monitoring and Evaluation Director: VaxTrac – Washington, DC, USA Monitoring & Evaluation Technical Manager: Partners in Health – Lesotho Technical Officer/Advisor Senior Policy and Advocacy Officer: PATH – Lusaka, Zambia HIV and Sexual and Reproductive Health Technical Officer: Jhpiego – Namibia Sr. Maternal Health Advisor: Jhpiego – Washington, DC, USA Senior Technical Advisor for Maternal and Child Health: CARE – Zambia Senior Technical Advisor – Maternal-Child Nutrition: CARE – Atlanta, GA, USA Programs Short-term Technical Consultant for Women’s Empowerment Groups: TSHIP/JSI – Bauchi, Nigeria Senior Program Officer: MCSP/JSI – Washington, DC, USA


Iranian Bills Aimed At Increasing Population Growth Use Women’s Rights As ‘Political…

The Lancet: Family planning in Iran Editorial Board “Last week, Amnesty International published a report in response to changes in Iranian law, which they say ‘pose a major threat to the human rights and fundamental freedoms of women and girls in Iran.’ … There are two bills currently under consideration. … In view of Amnesty’s…More


Measuring Maternal Health in a Post-MDG World

By Linnea Bennett, Intern, Environmental Change and Security Program at the Wilson Center As the international development community looks back on the Millennium Development Goals and ponders what remains to be done under the proposed Sustainable Development Goals, the maternal health field has some reflecting to do, said Dr. Ana Langer, professor and director of Harvard’s Maternal Health Task Force at the Wilson Center on December 1. [Video Below] “We used to have, or still have, one goal for maternal health…and we now face some challenging global policy situations,” Langer said. “The challenges are huge, in terms of indicators, sources of info, the tools we use, the way we frame the question.” Contact or Content?


Three barriers to delivering maternal health supplies and the solution

By Katharine McCarthy, Research Coordinator, and Saumya RamaRao, Senior Associate, Population Council This post is part of the blog series “Increasing access to maternal and reproductive health supplies: Leveraging lessons learned in preventing maternal mortality,” hosted by the Maternal Health Task Force, Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition/Maternal Health Supplies Caucus and Family Care International, which discusses the importance and methods of reaching women with lifesaving reproductive and maternal health supplies in the context of the proposed new global target of fewer than 70 maternal deaths per 100,000 births by 2030. To contribute a post, contact Katie Millar. How can we use the lessons learned by the reproductive health community to advance the maternal health supplies issues? Each year more than 180,000 women die during pregnancy or childbirth from hemorrhage or pre-eclampsia/eclampsia.


Event: Call the Midwife: A Conversation About The Rising Global Midwifery Movement

This Monday, March 23rd, the Wilson Center in Washington, DC will host an all-day symposium on the global importance of midwifery, supported by the MHTF and UNFPA. The event is open for all to attend, but you must RSVP! Please see the formal invitation from The Wilson Center below with agenda and RSVP details: Speakers from around the world and across the maternal health community are coming together to discuss the global midwifery movement. They will highlight midwifery as a cost-effective solution towards promoting maternal and newborn health based on the latest evidence, discuss some major global midwifery initiatives underway, demonstrate innovations in the field of midwifery and discuss some interesting country experiences. The symposium hopes to further foster partnerships and synergies in midwifery and help build global commitments for scale up of midwifery


GLOW 2015 conference gives new evidence for putting girls and women at the heart of the new…

By Eleni Capsaskis, MPH Candidiate, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine The theme for International Women’s Day this year was Make it Happen. In every country, people are coming together to advocate for women’s rights, opportunities and choices. Today’s generation is made up of the largest ever number of adolescents – but what future do they face? What about the health and hopes of the next generation?


Call for posts: How to increase access to maternal and reproductive health supplies

By Milka, Dinev, Beth Yeager, and Katie Millar The Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF), the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition (RHSC)/Maternal Health Supplies Caucus (MHS) and Family Care International (FCI) share the goal of increasing awareness of the key role that reliable access to quality maternal and reproductive health supplies plays in reducing maternal mortality. To this end, we’d like to invite you to contribute a post to our blog series, Increasing access to maternal and reproductive health supplies: Leveraging lessons learned in preventing maternal mortality. Our goal for this blog series is to create a platform for sharing innovative interventions, lessons-learned and opportunities for collaboration across various organizations and communities in terms of what can be done to ensure availability of quality maternal health supplies. The new global target of fewer than 70 maternal deaths per 100,000 births by 2030 makes timely access to quality maternal and reproductive health medicines and supplies for women even more critical.


Mobile Family Planning Services Reach Low-Income, Rural Populations In India

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: Reaching the Unreached with Family Planning in India David J. Olson of Olson Global Communication discusses the impact of mobile family planning services in India. The operation, run by Janani, brings family planning products and services to people who have limited access to them (3/13).


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