If there is one thing we’ve seen over the past month or so after the earthquakes in Nepal in April and May is there is an overall concerted effort to help women who are expecting babies during the aftermath of the natural disaster.
In 2013, Nepal had a maternal mortality ratio (MMR) of 109 per 100,000 live births. That is far too many for a country its size, even though the numbers have dropped significantly since 1990 when the MMR was 790 per 100,000 live births according to the World Health Organization. Nepal has accomplished a fantastic feat to save many more of its mothers since 1990, to be sure. Helping expectant mothers (especially those who live in remote, mountainous, rural areas) after an earthquake is an entirely different scenario. Infrastructure has been weakened. Health workers have lost their lives. Hospitals and health posts have been completely destroyed. How, then, do midwives, doctors, and other health workers continue their work to assist mothers who are pregnant and ready to deliver?
Continue reading Video: Maternal Health Care After Nepal’s Earthquakes
Merck for Mothers is a 10-year, $500 million global initiative that applies Merck’s scientific and business expertise to help reduce maternal mortality worldwide. So far, with our partners, they have helped an estimated 3.5 million women around the world including the United States.
We agree, no woman should die giving life.
Watch their #EndMaternalMortality video.
Photo: Jennifer James
Once girls get their period in low- and middle-income countries where resources are low, their lives change — sometimes irreparably.
When girls get their periods they oftentimes have to drop out of school and work around their home instead. And on top of that, many cannot afford sanitary napkins.
Irise International, an East African organization, is fighting the stigma of menstruation and providing easy, affordable solutions for girls when they get their periods.
See their work in their video: Periods Change Lives
Continue reading Featured Video: Periods Change Lives
The 68th World Health Assembly features the launch of two important reports – The WHO report on Strategies Toward Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality [PDF] and the Every Newborn Action Plan Progress Report [PDF].
Maternal health remains one of the most elusive Millennium Development Goal to achieve. While maternal deaths worldwide have been nearly halved since 1990, there is still a long way to go to ensure that more women’s lives are saved during childbirth. Currently 800 women lose their lives during childbirth due to largely preventable reasons. According to the new report, Strategies Towards Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality, by 2030 the maternal mortality ratio should be no larger than 70 deaths/100,000 live births and no country should have a MMR of 140 deaths/100,000 live births.
How can this be achieved?
The new report calls for more wellness-focused healthcare as opposed to emergency-focused care for expectant mothers despite available resources. Most importantly, the post 2015 maternal health framework is rooted in human rights for women and girls. In order to save more women’s lives, there needs to be a cross-sectional system of integrated care. According to the report, more women, girls, and communities need to be empowered to recognize gender equality and empowerment. Mothers and newborns must have integrated care as opposed to caring for both independently.
Continue reading Maternal and Newborn Health News from the 68th World Health Assembly