Maternal Health Task Force

MHTF Blog

How to create well-coordinated change to save women’s lives

When clinicians from all levels of a health system gather together once a month, not only are communication and interpersonal relations strengthened, but program implementation and health outcomes also improve... read more

Categories: Maternal Health

Practice makes perfect, and saves lives: The case for obstetric emergency drills

Luckily, devastating, obstetric emergencies are rare. But due to their rarity, pregnant women are at risk of not receiving the care they need when they face life-threatening complications if clinicians don't have a way to maintain knowledge and skills in managing obstetric emergencies. Stepping outside of the classroom, obstetric emergency drills—a simulation of managing a woman with the most common obstetric emergencies—allows both midwives and physicians to gain and maintain knowledge, build skills, develop teamwork and improve communication to safely manage these complications... read more

Categories: Maternal Health

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Taking a walk in her shoes: How a midwife exchange program improved maternal health in Ethiopia

Hospital leaders and the Ethiopian Ministry of Health recognized a complicated problem in obstetric care in Addis Ababa. Primary health centers saw few patients and referred many unnecessarily to overcrowded tertiary hospitals. To help fix the problem, they created a midwife exchange program... read more

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In Kenya, Encouraging Breastfeeding at the Community Level is Saving Lives

What helps save the lives of about 800,000 babies every year and doesn’t cost a dime? Breastfeeding. Of all preventive health interventions, breastfeeding—done within the first hour of life, exclusively for the first six months, and until age two—has the greatest potential impact on child survival, with the ability to avert 13% of deaths in children under five in the developing world (Lancet 2013). In Kenya, national rates of exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life have increased dramatically — from 32% in 2008/09 to 61% in 2014... read more

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Leadership in maternal & newborn health: Dr Shershah Syed

"[My patient] had waited 41 years for treatment. It took me just 20 minutes and 1 stitch to give back her dignity," said Shershah Syed. Shershah, a leading obstetrician-gynaecologist in Pakistan, has long been a visionary campaigner for women’s rights, girl’s education and safe motherhood. By offering free life-saving operations in rural, slum area clinics, Shershah has improved the lives of thousands of rural women too poor to pay for treatment... read more

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Lauri Romanzi on Rethinking Maternal Morbidity Care in a Historical Context

In May 1855, Dr. James Marion Sims opened the first obstetric fistula hospital in New York City. Just 40 years later, it closed, reflecting a sharp decline in maternal morbidity rates in the United States and other Western countries. The Waldorf Astoria Hotel now stands on the site of the former hospital. “We know that we have eradicated obstetric fistula in high income countries; it happened at the turn of the 20th century,” says Dr. Lauri Romanzi, project director of Fistula Care Plus, in this week’s podcast. That timing is crucial, says Romanzi, because there is a narrative that argues certain social determinants must be changed to eradicate fistula in developing countries today, such as forced marriage, teen pregnancy, women’s education and suffrage, antenatal care, and gender-based violence... read more

Categories: Advancing Policy Dialogue on Maternal Health Series Contributor Posts Cross-post

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Keeping Up With Cuba: Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission in the Caribbean

By Francesca Cameron, Program Assistant, Maternal Health Initiative, Wilson Center Fear of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and other infectious diseases has been used as an excuse to deny women health care around the world. Some women living with HIV have even been sterilized without their knowledge. But with proper treatment, the chances of transmission to an unborn... read more

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Stronger Health Systems Could End Abuse during Childbirth

By Rebeccah Bartlett, UNC-IntraHealth Summer Fellow, IntraHealth International When I volunteered in a maternity ward in the Philippines in September 2013, I had about 18 months of experience under my belt as a midwife and a couple more years as a nurse. I had also volunteered in Papua New Guinea and was eager to return to... read more

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9 new jobs in maternal health!

SPRING Events Manager: JSI, Rosslyn, Va Consultant to help with Social and Behavior Change Interventions Targeting Service Providers for malaria in pregnancy: Johns Hopkins Univeristy, HC3 Project Monitoring & Evaluation Advisor: Jhpiego, Baltimore, MD Sr. Program Coordinator: Jhpiego, Baltimore, MD Program Officer II: Jhpiego, Washington, DC Sr. Reproductive Health Technical Advisor: Jphiego, Baltimore, MD Sr. Health Systems Strengthening... read more

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