Maternal & Reproductive Health

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A Real Test for the GFF: Improving Maternal and Child Health in Conflict Settings

A highlight of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, held last week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, was the launch of a new Global Financing Facility (GFF) to end preventable maternal and child deaths by 2030. This partnership will bring together countries, UN agencies, multilateral groups, private sector investors, and civil society organizations in order to close the $33 billion annual funding gap for reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health (RMNCAH).

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Seeing the Big Picture Just Became Easier with Ultrasound

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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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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How SCHISTO-H lurks behind the scenes of global women’s health

Malaria is the most destructive parasitic illness, by many accounts, but the second most is much less well-known. Schistosomiasis [shis-tuh-soh-mahy-uh-sis] infects over 250 million people. It is a common in areas with stagnant water where the where the parasitic flat-worms can enter even unbroken skin and take up residence in a host. The flat worms then produce thousands of eggs per day that can overwhelm the host’s organs. The disease itself is effectively treated with praziquantel but reinfection can occur quickly


Breastfeeding: giving a boost to babies’ best food

“I learned not to feed the babies [solids] straight after giving birth to them.” Even though she’d had four previous children, it was the first time this new mother had received postnatal support, and she was pleased to share what … Continue reading » ; ; ; ;Related StoriesA first: European regulators give thumbs up to malaria candidate vaccineA day in the life of a global health advocateA very small hero and a lifesaving vaccine ;


Visualizing cervical cancer: Leading killer of African women

Cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for women in 40 of the 48 countries of sub-Saharan Africa, according to the most reliable health statistics. In high-income countries, cervical cancer ranks in the bottom half of all new cancer cases – below gallbladder, mouth, or brain cancers. In places like Ethiopia, Ghana, and


MUAC can screen for Low Birth Weight and More in Pregnant Women

Simple color coded devices for triage always come first on our list at Maternova. In humanitarian settings a quick, lightweight band to wrap around an arm and make a referral decision is a lifesaver. MUAC tapes used to screen pregnant women As mentioned in a prior blog post, MUAC tapes are used to assess the malnutrition status of pregnant women. The mid upper arm circumference has been shown to correlate well with Body Mass Index (BMI) and the MUAC does not change much over the course of a pregnancy.


A Real Test for the GFF: Improving Maternal and Child Health in Conflict Settings

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A highlight of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, held last week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, was the launch of a new Global Financing Facility (GFF) to end preventable maternal and child deaths by 2030. This partnership will bring together countries, UN agencies, multilateral groups, private sector investors, and civil society organizations in order to close the $33 billion annual funding gap for reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health (RMNCAH).


Pharmaceutical Companies Can Contribute To Improving Maternal, Reproductive Health

The Guardian: Are pharma giants living up to big promises on development? Damiano de Felice, strategic adviser to the CEO of the Access to Medicine Foundation, and Jayasree K. Iyer, the foundation’s chief scientific officer “…The [Access to Medicine] Foundation’s latest report maps how the [pharmaceutical] companies it tracks are responding to global calls for…More


La implementación del Pratt Pouch en Guayaquil, Ecuador

Dosificación de medicina antirretroviral a recién nacidos dentro del Programa de Prevención de Transmisión Materno Infantil de VIH de Fundación VIHDA y Hospital Maternidad Sotomayor Luego de estudios y comparaciones con otros métodos de administración de medicinas realizadas por Fundación VIHDA de Ecuador y Duke University de EEUU desde 2012 a 2015, el Pratt Pouch se muestra como una opción de gran exactitud y de mayor facilidad a la hora de dispensar los antirretrovirales líquidos a los niños recién nacidos en las dosis correctas y con una óptima conservación del contenido. La prevención de la transmisión materno infantil del VIH implica la detección temprana del virus en la mujer embarazada. La toma de medicación antirretroviral (ARV) durante la gestación por parte de la futura madre, la administración de ARV intravenoso durante el nacimiento, y la toma de medicación ARV líquido al niño recién nacido por vía oral, son procedimientos que se cumplen a fin de reducir a menos del 2% la transmisión materno infantil del virus del VIH. En Ecuador la medicina ARV oral para recién nacidos llega en presentación de frascos de 240 ml.


MUACs are used for screening pregnant women for malnutrition too

How can severe malnutrition be determined locally? Severe malnutrition can readily be determined without scales, with minimal training and with objective accuracy. The mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) has been endorsed and recommended as a reliable screening tool for acute malnutrition. It is an easy and objective measurement that can be followed over time.


Single Serve Safety for Newborns to Reduce HIV Transmission: Pratt Pouch, Part 2

Pratt Pouches have been in the development for over three years to improve the delivery of antiretroviral therapy to newborns and have been laboratory and field tested. Robert Malkin and the engineers at the Developing World Healthcare Technology Laboratory at Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering saw a need and sought to find a medically effective, simple and cost effective solution to an ongoing dilemma in the fight against HIV. What so difficult in giving ART to newborns? It is well known that giving newborns antiretrovirals in the first 24 to 72 hours drastically decreases the transmission of HIV from the mother to baby but the means to do so in areas most in need is prohibitive on two fronts. In areas most in need, more than half of the mothers deliver at home with little access to a clinic or community health workers.


Pratt Pouch for PMTCT: More on its Evolution from an undergraduate research project on failure…

Robert Malkin and the engineers at the Developing World Healthcare Technology Laboratory at Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering saw a need and sought to find a medically effective, simple and cost effective solution to an ongoing dilemma in the fight against HIV. Originally Malkin’s undergraduate class set out to figure out why prior approaches to home based PMTCT solutions had failed. The class did not plan to create a solution, but they did indeed do just that. Pratt Pouches have been in the development for multiple years with lab-based and clinical studies determine whether this new drug delivery device can radically improve the efficacy of home-based antiretroviral therapy to newborns.


How a Ketchup-sized and shaped foilized pouch can save babies at home

Introducing an exciting innovation in the effort to reduce HIV transmission to newborns The drugs aren’t new, but this new delivery system provides an innovative solution to on-going obstacles AND is amazingly simple. The Pratt Pouch is a small package resembling the ketchup that comes with your takeout, but the Pratt Pouch is filled with a precise dose of antiretroviral drugs. Studies have shown that immediate treatment of newborns with antiretrovirals significantly reduces HIV transmission from mother to baby. These drugs have been readily administered in the clinic setting but the challenge continues to be in areas where women deliver at home.


Cervical Cancer Detection in Zimbabwe: A Scalable Solution

It always inspires us to talk with people like Dr. Lowell Schnipper, an oncologist who is running a cervical cancer detection initiative out of St. Albert’s Mission Hospital in Zimbabwe. The work of this team emphasizes prevention, ultra low-cost methods and an emphasis on building local capacity. Cervical cancer hits women of childbearing age and puts families at risk of losing their mothers.


The European Commission needs your input!

The European Commission needs your input through a scoping survey in preparation of a high-level conference and the launch of an inducement prize on maternal and newborn health. Read more about the survey below: Since 1990, significant progress has been achieved in the field of maternal and newborn health (maternal mortality rate has fallen by 45% and child mortality has fallen from 90 to 45 deaths per 1000 live births). Still, we fell short of attaining the Millennium Development Goals that aimed for maternal mortality rate to be reduced by 75% and for child mortality to be reduced to 30 deaths per 1000 live births. What are the reasons of this failure and what needs be done differently? We are seeking your input on these important questions for 2 main reasons: the first is to shape the agenda and content of a conference on maternal and newborn health that will be held in December 2015 in Brussels.


Accounting for 1 in 3 Maternal Deaths, Health Disparities Persist in South Asia

By Linnea Bennet, Intern, Environmental Change and Security Program, Wilson Center As part of the Advancing Policy Dialogue on Maternal Health Series, the MHTF, along with UNFPA, supported the Wilson Center to host South Asia Consultation on Maternal Health: Regional Dialogue and Way Forward, to address neglected topics in maternal health. The state of maternal health in South Asia is difficult to assess. Although rates of maternal mortality are declining between 2 and 2.5 percent a year overall, the region’s massive population – one fifth of the world and over 1 billion people in India alone – means it still accounts for one out of three maternal deaths. [Video Below] Quality of care fluctuates wildly. Some countries, like Sri Lanka, have made major improvements while others, like Afghanistan and Pakistan, still struggle to meet baseline needs, said Dr. Linda Bartlett, an associate scientist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.


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