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Posts Tagged ‘child health’

On July 1st, the Women Deliver team announced the top five highlights from the 2010 conference (June 7-9). See below for a summary of the conference highlights–with links to publications, videos, photos, and additional information that came out of the conference.

This post was originally posted on the Women Deliver website and is reposted on MMD with permission from Women Deliver.
conference-participants.jpg

Women Deliver 2010 Conference participants

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of the second Women Deliver global conference. To put world leaders on notice that the time for action on maternal health is now, 3,400 advocates, policymakers, development leaders, health care professionals, youth, and media from 146 countries converged on Washington, DC on June 7-9 at Women Deliver 2010. More than 800 speeches and presentations were given at the six plenaries and 120 breakout sessions.  The heads of five UN agencies, plus the Secretary-General of the United Nations, attended. Thirty countries, UN agencies, the World Bank, corporations, and foundations helped support Women Deliver. Please see below for highlights and recaps of the conference.

1. Key Statements. Read the outcome statements from the:

2. Webcasts. Watch the videos from our plenary sessions and our press conferences, and watch Hillary Clinton’s address to the Women Deliver 2010 attendees.

3. Photos. Take a look at photos from the plenary sessions, breakout sessions and other conference events, and download them at no cost.

4. Programme. Review the plenary and breakout sessions that were held at Women Deliver 2010.

5. Publications and Advocacy Tools. Visit our Knowledge Center to download publications and advocacy tools, including:

Stay tuned for our summary report on breakout sessions by theme.

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In an effort to improve the reproductive health, maternal and neonatal health, maternal and child nutrition and access/use of vaccines of the poorest 20% of Mesoamerica (which translates to 8 million people in Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Belize and the southern states of Mexico), the Gates Foundation, the Carlos Slim Health Institute, the Spanish government and the Inter-American Development Bank have formed an innovative public-private partnership–called Salud Mesoamerica 2015.

IDB (Inter-American Development Bank)

“…Salud Mesoamérica 2015 will work in partnership with the health ministries of Mesoamerican countries and in close coordination with the Mesoamerican Public Health System. This system is part of the regional integration platform known as Proyecto Mesoamérica.

In contrast to many other international programs, countries will not compete for resources under SM2015, because amounts will be allocated per country over a five-year period based on their poverty and health inequality status. Moreover, governments themselves will determine the projects that will be financed by the Initiative within the identified areas…”

Read the full story.

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Several U.N. agencies recently collaborated on a text messaging initiative to improve communication between community health workers and pregnant women in a community in Rwanda. Local women, health workers, and hospital directors are raving about the initiative but scaling up the project throughout the country may prove challenging; only 6% of the population in Rwanda has electricity and charging phones often means long walks to charging stations.

Reuters

“…John Kalach, director of the nearest hospital in Ruhengeri, says since Rapid SMS launched in August 2009, his hospital has had no maternal deaths, compared to 10 the previous year.

‘We used to get ladies coming here with serious complications just because they delayed the decision because the journey was very long,’ he says.

Kalach says authorities can use the data to work out which diseases affect women during pregnancy, the causes of death for children below five years, the volume and type of drugs required, and to monitor population growth rates.

Friday Nwaigwe, UNICEF’s country head of child health and nutrition, says the next step is to give mobile phones to 17,500 maternal health workers across the country and eventually to all 50,000 community health workers…”

Read the full story here.

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The official launch of the Countdown to 2015 Decade Report (2000-2010) will be at the Women Deliver and Countdown to 2015 for Maternal, Newborn and Child Survival conferences next week (the Countdown meeting is being held in conjunction with Women Deliver) –but the report is now available to download on the Countdown to 2015 website.

Countdown to 2015-Maternal, Newborn, and Child Survival

From the report:

“The Countdown report for 2010 contains good news–many countries are making progress, reducing mortality and increasing coverage of effective health interventions at an accelerating pace. But the news is not all good. Many Countdown countries are still off track for achieving Millennium Development Goals 4 (reduce child mortality) and 5 (improve maternal health) and are not increasing coverage of key health interventions quickly enough…”

Click here to download the report and/or the brochure with highlights from the report.

Click here for a press release on the new report.

Click here for a special message from Countdown for conference participants about the special track at Women Deliver for Countdown to 2015 sessions.

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Dr. Fred Sai is co-host of Women Deliver 2010, former reproductive health and HIV/AIDS advisor to the Ghanaian government, and has spent 40 years working to improve the health of women and children in Ghana and throughout Africa.  In his June 2nd blog post, A New Role For Africans in Maternal Health, on the ONE Blog, Dr. Sai comments on the new maternal mortality estimates published in the Lancet that show a dramatic reduction in global maternal deaths–and asks questions about why Africa (as a whole) has not seen these same reductions. He also expresses confidence that a shift in approach (described in his post) will lead to major improvements in the health of women and children throughout Africa.

The ONE Blog

“…It is an unfortunate truth that progress for the world at large does not necessarily mean progress for Africa. In 1980, almost a quarter of maternal deaths occurred in African countries. Today that figure has doubled to more than half. All but one of the 30 countries with the worst maternal mortality statistics are in Africa. And while countries like Ghana and Rwanda have seen a steady decline in maternal deaths over the past 15 years, others such as Malawi, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire actually have higher maternal mortality rates than they did in 1990.

Addressing maternal mortality in Africa is complex and challenging. Our countries face increasing rates of HIV, entrenched and debilitating poverty, food shortages, weak education and health care systems, problematic governance, corruption, and civil conflict. These are huge issues in their own right, but they also have significant impact on maternal, newborn and child health. The challenges, however, are not the whole story…”

Read the full post, A New Role For Africans in Maternal Health.

For additional reactions to the Lancet publication from other leaders in the maternal health field, click here.

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The symposium, Measuring the Progress on Maternal and Child Mortality: Data, Alternative Methods, and Findings, will be held on May 24th from 11:15am to 5pm at the Washington D.C. Kaiser Family Foundation office, immediately following a 9:30am policy forum on maternal and child health organized by the Kaiser Family Foundation. This all day symposium will bring together several maternal and child health experts and will be moderated by Editor-in-Chief of the Lancet, Richard Horton.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

“…The all day event is designed to initiate vigorous scientific dialogue around the data and analytic approaches used in determining maternal and child mortality rates around the world. The symposium will also highlight the critical role that multiple organizations play in analyzing and disseminating mortality findings in order to strengthen overall methods and results…”

Speakers include:

Diego Bassani, Centre for Global Health Research, St. Michael’s Hospital, University of Toronto
Ties Boerma, WHO
Ed Bos, World Bank
Trevor Croft, ICF Macro
Amanda Glassman, Inter-American Development Bank
Alan Lopez, University of Queensland
Rafael Lozano, IHME and former General Director of Health Information at the Ministry of Health in Mexico
Christopher JL Murray, IHME
Kenji Shibuya, University of Tokyo

Click here for the official event announcement.

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A new report by Save the Children, “State of the World’s Mothers 2010,” identifies Norway as the best place in the world to be a mother–and Afghanistan as the worst.

Save the Children

The focus of the report is on the shortage of front line health workers in developing countries–and the critical need to train more female health workers in order to save the lives of women, children and newborns living in the most marginalized communities.

“Mothers in Norway and Australia are living in the best places in the world, according to Save the Children’s 11th annual “Mothers’ Index”, which ranks the best and worst places to be a mother.  Afghanistan ranked at the bottom of the list of 160 countries, which included 43 developed nations and 117 in the developing world.

The “Mothers’ Index” is highlighted in Save the Children’s State of the World’s Mothers 2010 report, which examines the many ways women working on the front lines of health care are helping to save the lives of mothers, newborns and young children, and makes an urgent call to increase the number of front-line health workers in the world’s poorest nations….”

Read the full post on the Save the Children site for an overview of the report with a list of the top ten (and bottom ten) places to be a mother–and several very interesting country comparisons across maternal and child health indicators.

UNFPA and the International Confederation of Midwives are also speaking out about the urgent need to train more front line health workers in difficult to reach communities. I posted an excerpt of their statement a couple hours ago.

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AllAfrica.com reports that the Nutrition Society of Nigeria is calling for a review of the current national food and nutrition policy—stating that malnutrition accounts for 60% of avoidable maternal, child and infant mortality in Nigeria

allAfrica.com

President of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria, Professor Ignatius Onimawo spoke at the opening ceremony of the 21st anniversary of the Food Basket Foundation International Initiative at the University of Ibadan. He described malnutrition as a major silent killer in Nigeria and said, “It is instructive to know that of the over 100 universities currently operating in Nigeria only five run degree courses in nutrition and yet nutrition holds the key for the reversal of the vicious attack of these deadly diseases.”

Read the full story here

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The Board of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH) has issued a call for nominations for a new representative to fill an available seat on the Board, and invites your organization to nominate an academic expert in maternal health. 

Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health

“The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health is governed by the PMNCH Board and its two accompanying committees — the Finance Committee and the Executive Committee. The Board Members represent their constituencies, made up of the full membership of the Partnership, as well as a balance between the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health interest and geographical areas.”

Click here for more information on the Board.

The board is seeking a representative to replace the outgoing representative, Professor Wendy J Graham, from IMMPACT, University of Aberdeen. The two other positions representing the academic, research and training constituency remain filled by academic expert in newborn health Professor Vinod Paul, from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences; and  academic expert in the field of child health Professor Jane Schaller, from the International Paediatric Association.

Click here for the document outlining the process for electing a representative to the PMNCH board.

For more information or to submit your organization’s nomination: PMNCHAdmin@who.int

Nominations must be received before April 1st, 2010.

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Barnard College and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) are holding a discussion on long-term strategies to improve maternal and child health.

“In conjunction with the release of the CSIS Commission on Smart Global Health Policy’s final report, ‘A Healthier, Safer, and More Prosperous World,’CSIS is convening public fora across the country to discuss the U.S. approach to global health.”

Friday, March 5, 2010
10:00 AM – Noon
The Diana Center Event Oval
Barnard College
3009 Broadway (enter at 117th Street)
New York, NY 10027

Panelists include the following CSIS Commissioners:
Debora L. Spar, President, Barnard College
Helene Gayle, President & CEO, CARE
Rep. Kay Granger, U.S. Congress, Texas – 12th District
Patricia E. Mitchell, President and CEO, The Paley Center for Media
Joe Rospars, Founding Partner, Blue State Digital

Click here for more information and to RSVP.
Download the PDF invitation here.

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Elizabeth Payne, Editorial Board member of the Ottawa Citizen, outlines a plan/suggestion by Keith Martin, medical doctor and maternal health expert, for G8 countries to tackle maternal mortality in developing countries.

Ottawa Citizen

“…Martin says the federal government must articulate exactly what it is going to do when it comes to the G8 maternal health initiative and access to reproductive technology. ‘I hope they don’t take an ideological position.’

Harper will be ‘turning back the clock,’ Martin says, if the initiative does not include reproductive health: ‘I can’t think of another country that would take that position.’

But, he adds, the initiative is too crucial to be lost because of political debate. There is a way Canada can lead a ‘pragmatic, effective plan’ without having to directly support abortions or contraceptives.

Martin suggests each of the G8 countries could take on a different aspect of the campaign to reduce maternal and child mortality.

‘It would be a way for the conservative government to make sure what comes out of the G8 is a plan that is implemented rather than talked about,’ he said.

In order to reduce maternal mortality rates, he says, a G8 initiative should include training of primary care workers, access to medications, diagnostics, clean water, access to power, access to family planning and nutrition, particularly micro-nutrients…”

Read the full story, How to help women, and avoid abortion politics.

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The mobile cinema, backed by UNICEF, is traveling from village to village in Mali screening films that encourage communities to talk openly about maternal and child health issues. After the screening, project leaders hold open discussions with communities about female genital cutting—and the health implications of the practice.

SOS Children’s Villages

“More than 85 per cent of women aged between 15 and 49 in Mali have been circumcised, a practice that has many harmful physical and psychological effects. Across the world, the figure is up to 140 million women and girls in 28 countries, especially in Africa and the Middle East. ‘The female genital mutilation or cutting poses immediate and long-term consequences for the health of women and girls and violates their human rights’, the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) said on Friday, before the International Day against Female Genital Mutilation.
The mobile cinema, backed by UNICEF, turned Djènèba Doumbia’s attitudes on the practice on their head. Since seeing the film, she no longer supports female cutting and now does not want to pass the tradition on to the daughters of the community. ‘I tell all women not to circumcise their daughters, to leave them as they are, because we realize that the disadvantages of this practice are numerous and real,’ said Ms Doumbia. ‘So if they let the girls be, the whole family benefits.’ Women at the aftershow discussion hear how those who have been cut are more likely than uncut women to have complications in and after childbirth…”

Read the full story here.

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President Obama made his budget announcement—leaving some organizations  pleased with the increases in funding for maternal and child health, family planning, and malaria while others wonder if, “scarcity of cash means AIDS has to be played off against maternal health, when both urgently need more money.”

Sarah Boseley’s Global Health Blog

“Hot on the heels of the Gates Foundation $10 billion donation to vaccines and Bill and Melinda’s impassioned pleas to governments to increase their aid comes President Obama’s budget announcement, which has attracted both praise and blame.

Among those who say he is a good guy is the Global Health Council, lauding him for a 9% increase in the Fiscal Year 2011 budget request to Congress. This is their analysis of how the money is to be parceled out.

The Council is happy that there are increases for maternal and child health and malaria and family planning (Obama lifted the Global Gag or Mexico City rule imposed by Bush which prevented any US funds going to overseas organisations including UN agencies which were prepared even to discuss abortion with women).

But other organisations are not happy and foremost among the critics is the formidable Jeff Sachs of Columbia University, who has labelled the budget request a Very Big Disappointment…”

Read the full story here.

Also, take a look at Serra Sippel’s post, Obama’s Global Health Initiative: Getting It Right The First Time Around on Huffington Post.

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Veil of Tears is a collection of transcribed interviews with children, women, and men in Afghanistan about loss in childbirth. These interviews are part of IRIN’s  Kabul-based radio project, which closed at the end of 2009 after six years of humanitarian radio production and journalistic capacity building in Afghanistan.

IRIN Humanitarian News and Analysis

“In Veil of Tears, a 60-page colour booklet launched today, IRIN brings you a unique collection of personal stories of loss and courage in childbirth, as told by women, men and children from different parts of Afghanistan.

The stories were originally recorded in local languages, Dari and Pashto, for IRIN Radio broadcasts. Transcribed into English in Veil of Tears, they convey the immediacy and intimacy of the interviews conducted by IRIN reporters, who travelled in some cases for several days to reach the remotest villages in Afghanistan.

The interviewees in the booklet talk about the struggle to get enough nutritious food to sustain a woman through pregnancy, and to feed their families on any given day; they describe the awesome distances and terrain that separate people living in the villages from the nearest health facility; they describe the lack of proper roads and transport that may leave a donkey cart as the only option to attempt a life-or-death journey with a pregnant wife or mother to a hospital; they explain the cultural and social rules that might mean decisions by men are made too late to save a woman and her baby…”

Read the full story here.

Click here for a PDF of the Veil of Tears.

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Watch and share Pathfinder’s video, Girl2Woman, that outlines the challenges related to sexual and reproductive health that girls face throughout their lives.

Every video shared raises $1 for Pathfinder International programs—-up to $1 million. Visit the Girl2Woman site to see more information about the initiative and an interactive time line that outlines stages of life and highlights the work that Pathfinder International does to help women at each stage. At the Girl2Woman site, you can also fill out a form to share the video with your contacts.

To learn more about Pathfinder International, click here.

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