IntraHealth, has developed materials in English to train health workers on obstetric fistula prevention, identification, and pre-repair care. The course contains a facilitator's manual (pdf, 1.3 MB) a participant handbook (pdf, 604 KB) Ten modules, a variety of visual aids, and supplementary handouts.
Fistula Orientation for Community Members
IntraHealth has also developed materials to orient community leaders about safe motherhood and obstetric fistula. Staff who work with fistula patients lead the one-day orientation with specific community groups, such as local authorities, women's associations, or community health workers. This presentation (pdf, 622 KB) provides an English overview of the Ethiopian maternal health context and fistula's causes and prevention, ending with the important ways that different groups can be of support.
Global Citizen - Global Partnerships
If we work together through global partnerships humanity advances further. Through these partnerships we've halved the number of deaths of children under five years old.
S. Velaphi and N. Rhoda South African Journal of Child Health 6(3): 67-71, August 2012 5 pp. 860 kB:
South Africa is one of the countries in which neonatal mortality has remained the same or increased over the last 20 years. The major causes of neonatal deaths are related to prematurity and intrapartum hypoxia. In this paper, the authors discuss a number of interventions that have been shown to reduce neonatal deaths and, if implemented on a wider scale, could reduce neonatal deaths significantly. These interventions include providing basic and comprehensive emergency obstetric care, use of antenatal steroids for women in preterm labour, training in immediate care of the newborn and neonatal resuscitation, and post-resuscitation management and ongoing neonatal care (e.g. CPAP), especially to babies who are born preterm.
by Courtney A. Gravett, Michael G. Gravett, Emily T. Martin et al. PLoS Med 9(10): e1001324 (9 October 2012) .pdf - 7 pp. 340kB:
Pregnancy-related infections are one of the leading causes of maternal mortality worldwide, with the burden falling disproportionately on low- and middle-income countries. Such infections can be categorized into four different syndromes occurring at distinct times during pregnancy: puerperal sepsis, septic abortion, pyelonephritis/urosepsis, and rapidly progressive soft tissue infections. Bundled packages of interventions targeted at these different syndromes should be integrated into antenatal care at two time points: initiation of antenatal care and onset of labor.
by Susan B. Aradeon, Mini Soyoola, Mini Soyoola et al. Health Partners International, 2012 .pdf - 88 pp. 6.9 MB:
Used in six rural districts of Zambia, the Community Discussion Guide has proved to be an effective way to mobilise communities to address common problems within the household and community that prevent timely utilisation of maternal and newborn health services. The community mobilisation process begins with a focus on maternal health issues, and in particular, maternal emergencies, an emotive issue around which communities can be quickly mobilised. Other topics that have an impact on women's health are also covered, including the impact of gender violence and of social problems such as alcoholism, and lack of social support.
by Phillip Nieburg Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), October 2012 .pdf - 28 pp. 1.6 MB:
Over the last 25 years, some countries, including some that are resource poor, have made striking progress in reducing maternal mortality, but many others still lag behind and are unlikely to achieve the country-specific 2015 woomen's health targets established in 2000 under the Millennium Development Goals. In response to this ongoing tragedy, the United States has recently begun taking an increasingly visible role in global efforts to reduce maternal mortality, seeking to create new governmental and public-private partnerships toward that end.
The UN Secretary-General's Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health (2010) called on the global community to work together to save 16 million lives by 2015. This challenge was taken up by the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children, which identified and endorsed an initial list of 13 overlooked life-saving commodities that, if more widely accessed and properly used, could save the lives of more than 6 million women and children. The scaling up of these commodities is not solely a moral obligation but one of the most effective ways of getting more health for the money invested.
Save the Children's State of the World's Mothers 2012 Report
"Our research shows that a mother's breast milk — one single nutrition intervention — can save a million children's lives each year,... All mothers should have the support they need to choose to breastfeed if they want to. Breastfeeding is good for babies no matter where they live, but in developing countries, especially those without access to clean water, breastfeeding can be a matter of life or death."
Hundreds of millions of children today live in urban slums, many without access to basic services.
We must do more to reach all children in need, wherever they are excluded and left behind. Some might ask whether we can afford to do this, especially at a time of austerity. But if we overcome the barriers that have kept these children from the services that they need and that are theirs by right, then millions more will grow up healthy, attend school and live more productive lives.
800 women still die every day. We know how to save them, and we can do more.
16 May 2012 - New maternal mortality estimates confirm that the number of women dying in pregnancy and childbirth is declining. Along with other indicators, this joint U.N. report validates the fact that we are making progress in saving mothers’ lives, even if progress is slower than what is called for by the Millennium Development Goals.
Rapid progress in some countries demonstrates that when governments take a strategic approach to the safe motherhood challenge -- by deploying trained midwives, ensuring adequate essential supplies, making family planning accessible and providing timely obstetric care to women with complications, we are getting results. Still, there is more work to be done in delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted and every childbirth is safe.
What do you picture when you think of the way you'd want to be treated when it's time to have a baby? Pregnant women around the world seeking maternity care from the health systems in their countries instead receive ill treatment that ranges from disrespect of their autonomy and dignity to outright abuse: physical assault, verbal insults, discrimination, abandonment, or detention in facilities for failure to pay. Disrespect and abuse during maternity care are a violation of a woman's basic human rights. We have to break the silence.
This film was created to draw attention to the issue of disrespect and abuse during maternity care and to promote Respectful Maternity Care for women worldwide. Please help us in spreading the word. Download the film in MP4 or in Flash.
In every country and community in the world, pregnancy and childbirth are events of great significance, as well as a time of intense vulnerability, in the lives of women and families. In response to a growing body of evidence of disrespect and abuse during pregnancy and childbirth, the White Ribbon Alliance has joined partners to advocate for Respectful Maternity Care.
In addition to bringing vital, potentially lifesaving health services, women's experiences with maternity caregivers have the potential to empower and comfort or to inflict lasting damage and emotional trauma. Either way, women's memories of their childbearing experiences stay with them for a lifetime. Imagine the personal treatment you would expect from a maternity care provider entrusted to help you or a woman you love give birth.
Unfortunately, too many women experience care that does not match this image. Too often, pregnant women seeking maternity care receive ill treatment that ranges from relatively subtle disrespect of their autonomy and dignity to outright abuse: physical assault, verbal insults, discrimination, abandonment, or detention in facilities for failure to pay. Disrespect and abuse of women during maternity care is a problem that has been obscured by a "veil of silence" and can significantly impact women’s willingness to seek out life-saving maternity care in facilities.
The Atlas of Birth is a clear, accessible guide to the global picture of maternal health, told with maps, graphics and stories from many countries. It documents the biggest killer of young women in developing countries, and reveals one of the greatest opportunities of our time – to prevent the preventable – those maternal deaths that happen every single minute of every single day
The Atlas of Birth is raising maternal health on the agenda of policymakers around the world while fueling the popular movement for change. This global project includes the book (now in CD form, soon in print); the acclaimed short film Birth and Death - and a series of Atlas of Birth flyers created at key political moments to spark debate, media coverage, public engagement and political action.
The Atlas of Birth is a responsive, interactive project which invites your feedback as we build momentum towards the agreed international goal of reducing needless maternal deaths by three quarters before 2015. >> The Atlas of Birth Book (PDF)
Solution Exchange is a Knowledge Management initiative of the United Nations Country Team in India. The brand is recognized by development professionals as a platform for exchange of ideas and dialogue between different stakeholders. SE membership is a talent pool of more than 35,000 subscriptions including practitioners from civil society, grass roots organizations, academics, research institutions and government who come together to share knowledge and best practices, provide solutions and address development challenges. There are 13 Communities of Practice organized around national priorities and MDGs, facilitated by different UN agencies. Solution Exchange (SE) offers a free, impartial space where all partners are welcome members of the community.
Maternal and Child Health Community of Practice of Solution Exchange aids in addressing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) relating to improving maternal and child health and to reducing maternal, infant and child mortality. The community has been in existence for last 7 years with a membership of about 4,000 MCH practitioners, has discussed over 190 issues which are available here - Maternal and Child Health Community
The Heart of the Issue - Early Childhood Development
The world knows that investing in the first five years of a child's life can break the cycle of poverty. And yet hundreds of millions of children around the globe are being denied basic care. This is their short film.
The White Ribbon Alliance is an international coalition which pushes for change to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for women and newborns around the world.
In some cultures, white symbolizes mourning and in others it symbolizes hope and life. As such, the white ribbon is dedicated to the memory of all women who have died needlessly in pregnancy and childbirth.
Since its launch in 1999, the White Ribbon Alliance – now a rapidly growing global movement with members in 148 countries – has been amplifying the voices of women and their communities, and is now a leader among those holding governments and institutions to account for the tragedy of maternal mortality.
Birth & Death
'Birth and Death' is a short graphic film which highlights the tragedy of maternal death around the world. Simple and moving but powerfully argued, the film exposes a scandal which has been going on for far too long; that women and girls around the world are dying needlessly, leaving millions of orphans and grieving families. The film calls on viewers to take action – and on world leaders to deliver on their promises – to end this global disgrace.
In only one year, governments, foundations, UN and other multilateral organizations, NGOs, the business community, health care professional associations, and academic institutions have made unprecedented financial and political commitments to greatly improve the health of women and children.
The assessment of commitments came in the new PMNCH 2011 Report: Analysing Commitments to Advance the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health. The new Report—along with many new commitments—were released at the Every Woman Every Child first-year anniversary high-level event held in New York. …”
Topics of analysis for this report include:
the number of stakeholders, from different constituency groups, who have made commitments to advance the Global Strategy;
the estimated value of the financial contributions made, including the extent of new and additional resources and projected government health spending on reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH) through 2015 in 16 low-income countries;
the focus and scope of policy and service- delivery commitments made to date, including the use of innovation to catalyse progress;
the geographic distribution of commitments, mapped against current progress on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5 in low- and middle-income countries;
the alignment of commitments with idenitified gaps in human resources for health, the coverage of essential RMNCH interventions, and integration with other MDGs; and
the extent to which commitments relate to promoting human rights, equity and empowerment, addressing structural and political barriers that impede progress.