A new, first-of-its-kind report, The Ultimate Investment in the Future Profiles of Corporate Engagement in the Health and Development of Newborns [PDF] was recently released that catalogs 48 corporations and their financial commitments to saving the lives of more newborns globally. Currently there are 2.6 million stillbirths every year and 2.8 million newborns do not make it past four weeks. Most of these deaths occur due to prematurity. India and Nigeria see most newborn deaths.
Last year the Every Newborn Action Plan (ENAP) was endorsed by the 67th World Health Assembly. The new report ranks the listed corporations by ENAP’s five strategic objectives including:
- investing in care during labor, birth and the first week of life
- improving the quality of maternal and newborn care
- reducing inequities
- harnessing the power of parents, families and communities
- counting, measuring and tracking births, deaths, program quality and performance
Exxon, for example, has created a program that helps prevent malaria in pregnancy in Chad and Cameroon. GE funds technology for quality maternal health care in over 150 countries and Johnson & Johnson funds mobile phone programs that sends maternal health news and information to women in 175 countries.
Without the added financial support and investments in maternal and newborn health, the number of newborn deaths would not decrease substantially over time. The report also shows each of the corporations and the countries in which they work. Since, as aforementioned, India, Nigeria and Pakistan have the highest number of newborn deaths, they also have some of the most corporate newborn health and survival programs of all of the countries. Health care equipment and services and pharmaceuticals and biotechnology sectors make up the vast majority of corporations.
Read The Ultimate Investment in the Future Profiles of Corporate Engagement in the Health and Development of Newborns [PDF]
Photo: MONUSCO/Sylvain Liechti
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
Across the world, over 17,000 children under age five continue to die every day, mostly from preventable causes and treatable diseases. This translates to approximately 12 children every minute and over 6.3 million total in 2013. More than half of these child deaths can be attributed to malnutrition (approximately 45% of all child deaths), pneumonia, diarrhea, measles and malaria.
Nearly 3 million of the total deaths occur in children within their first month of life. The Challenge. The 2015 Children’s Prize seeks the best and most effective project that proposes to save the greatest number of children’s lives with $250,000. Projects will be evaluated based on the ability to impact rates within a child mortality indicator (U5MR, IMR, NMR, etc.), effectiveness, innovation and scalability of the intervention approach within global health, feasibility of the proposed lives-saved estimate, probability of success, ease of verification and inclusion of an impact assessment for the project.
The Children’s Prize, a $250,000 global health competition, is open for applications from individuals, nonprofits, and for profits organizations that work for children and can save more children’s lives through funding.
Visit childrensprize.org to apply.
Inside the child malnutrition unit at Hôpital Albert Schweitzer, the largest regional hospital in Haiti’s Artibonite region, colorful murals have been painted over the beds. They were specifically designed to teach parents, especially mothers, how to keep their newborns and children healthy and well-fed.
In Haiti one in five children suffers from chronic malnutrition and 6.5 percent of Haitian children suffer from acute malnutrition. Chronic malnutrition is described as stunting or shortness. Acute malnutrition is wasting or thinness.
This mural in Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti shows mothers the importance of breastfeeding their newborns as well as the importance of taking their babies to the Centre de Santé (health center).
Haiti has a 53 percent literacy rate making it imperative that health messaging at the hospital is conveyed through art as well as through color-coded words. For example, the hospital’s social services are all written in red so those who cannot read can easily find that department. Additionally, for those who can read all signs are written in French as well as in Creole as language politics in the region are quite heightened.
Mothers instead of fathers are more likely to tend to their children in the malnutrition unit like the mothers I saw when I visited. Some mothers were feeding their children and others were sitting with their children who were too weak to be awake.
Haitian women have a lower literacy rate than men in Haiti making messaging through art critical to driving home nutrition education in this unit.
Continue reading Newborn and Child Health Education Through Haitian Art