Leading Writers Call Attention to International Maternal Health

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Over the weekend, New York Times op-ed columnist Nicholas Kristof and widely published freelance writer Elayne Clift wrote columns exploring key maternal health issues. Kristof raised the neglected issue of micronutrients and the role they play in ensuring safe pregnancy and healthy babies. He noted that this issue is rarely covered in the media, even though access to proper nutrition is a crucial element of health, particularly during pregnancy. The MHTF could not agree more and we are pleased that Nicholas Kristof is drawing attention to this important issue.

Clift’s article, which explored the role of political will in shaping women’s access to maternal health, provides an excellent complement to Kristof’s article, by exposing many of the factors that keep issues like micronutrients out of the news and off of the political radar. Clift also provided an overview of efforts to change this, noting that the MHTF is one of a number of ongoing projects to mobilize the maternal health community and build political will for policies and practices that make pregnancy safer. In her column, Clift quoted MHTF editorial board member Jeremy Shiffman, and mentioned his seminal October 2007 Lancet article on generating political priority for maternal health. Clift also quoted Ana Langer, President of EngenderHealth, and Ann Starrs, President of Family Care International, one of the MHTF’s partners.

Kristof’s piece, World’s Healthiest Foods, can be accessedhere.

Clift’s piece, Safe Motherhood Revisited, can be accessed here.

The MHTF encourages you to take a look at both of these articles—and to share your comments in the comment section.