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Posts Tagged ‘access’

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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An editorial published in the Globe and Mail on Monday calls on Canadians to “abandon posturing over funding abortion overseas,” and turn to a new focus for their plans to improve maternal health abroad: a new facility focused entirely on maternal and child health at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The idea is that this model would allow recipients of funds to decide on the interventions that work in their particular countries, in their specific social contexts.

The Globe and Mail

“…The recent political debate on maternal mortality has focused on unsafe abortions, but this is a distraction. Unsafe abortions do account for some of these pregnancy-related deaths and the reality of abortion services in Africa is a horror. But given that abortion is highly restricted for 90 per cent of Africans, and wholly illegal in 14 countries, the G8 would accomplish little by focusing on the issue. The bigger task – and one where the G8 can actually make a difference – is empowering women to have more control over their sexual lives, by increasing access to family planning and ensuring that pregnant women have access to care when they are ready to deliver…”

Read the full editorial, When it comes to maternal health, let Africans decide.

Be sure to take a look at the comments section of the editorial.

For more coverage of the G8/G20 in the Globe and Mail, click here.

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Several leading media outlets are covering the news of dramatic global declines in maternal deaths–and raising questions about why a group of women’s health advocates pressured the Lancet to delay publishing the findings…

The New York Times

“…The study cited a number of reasons for the improvement: lower pregnancy rates in some countries; higher income, which improves nutrition and access to health care; more education for women; and the increasing availability of “skilled attendants” — people with some medical training — to help women give birth. Improvements in large countries like India and China helped to drive down the overall death rates.

But some advocates for women’s health tried to pressure The Lancet into delaying publication of the new findings, fearing that good news would detract from the urgency of their cause, Dr. Horton said in a telephone interview…”

Read the full story, Maternal Deaths Decline Sharply Across the Globe, on NYTimes.com.

The New York Times Freakonomics Blog

The New York Times Freakonomics Blog also had something to say about this story and provided some background information on the history of maternal mortality–including a reference to the contributions to maternal health of Ignatz Semmelweis, the Hungarian physician who discovered that the incidence of puerperal fever could be drastically reduced with basic hand washing (ie. Medical students needed to wash their hands between cutting open cadavers and delivering babies!!).

Read the full post, Who’s Not Happy About a Falling Maternal Death Rate?, on the New York Times Freakonomics Blog.

Also see stories from the Associated Press, Lancet reports drops in maternal childbirth deaths, says it was pressured not to publish story; and from the Washington Post, Fewer Women Dying in Childbirth, Study Says.

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In honor of World Health Day, I wrote a post for the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases blog, End the Neglect. The post looks at the relationship between these two historically neglected global health issues–and calls for more integration.

End the Neglect

“The theme of this year’s World Health Day is “Urbanization and Health.” Maternal mortality and morbidity, and neglected tropical diseases have a hugely debilitating impact on urban slum populations—who often lack access to health services. I would like to take this day to celebrate the increased attention to the connected issues of neglected tropical diseases and maternal health and to highlight the importance of a comprehensive, integrated approach to maternal health. This sort of approach not only includes universal access to reproductive health services but also addresses neglected tropical diseases—and their impact on maternal morbidity and mortality…”

Read the full post, Women and NTDs: Shared History, Shared Hope.

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Cambodian News reports that while Cambodia’s health system has improved over the past decade, maternal mortality has seen no real improvement. 

Cambodian News

“Cambodia’s health system has improved over the past decade resulting in significant reduction of child mortality, reduction of mortality and morbidity due to communicable diseases such as HIV/ AIDS, TB and malaria, vaccine preventable diseases, and improvement in fertility rate and life expectancy.

Despite these improvements, Cambodia still faces challenges. There has been no improvement in maternal mortality (472 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 2005); the lack of sanitation and access to clean water are continuing problems; the level of malnutrition is high (stunting at 37% among children under 5); chronic non-communicable diseases and injuries from road traffic accidents are on the increase; and significant inequalities in health outcomes between the rich and the poor, and urban and rural.

High level of out-of-pocket expenditure leads to problems of affordability in accessing services. In addition there are physical constraints to access for remote, and rural populations…”

Read the full story, Improvements in Health Services for the Poor

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Keira Knightley, Annie Lennox, James Purefoy, Beverley Knight, Dervla Kirwan, Colin Salmon and Jonathan Pryce  appear in the three minute film and call on the UK Government to prioritize international maternal and newborn health.

amnesty.org.uk

“…Earlier this week a coalition of organisations including Amnesty, Save the Children and the White Ribbon Alliance, revealed that the rate of pregnant women dying in countries in the developing world is as bad – and in some countries far worse – than the rate of women dying in Britain 100 years ago.

Today Amnesty International also published a major new report on the rate of maternal deaths in the USA, where figures show that two to three women die in childbirth or pregnancy-related factors every day.  These deaths occur because of a lack of health insurance, barriers to health care for those who speak little or no English or who live in poverty, and a shortage of health care professionals in rural and inner-city areas…”

Read the full story and watch the video here.

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