Improving Transportation and Referral for Maternal Health

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Please join the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Global Health Initiative, the Maternal Health Task Force, and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for the fifth event of the series on Advancing Policy Dialogue on Maternal Health.

This event will feature:

Víctor Conde Altamirano, Obstetric Nets Manager, CARE Bolivia

John Koku Awoonor-Williams, East Regional Director, Ghana Health Service

Subodh Satyawadi, Chief Operating Officer, GVK Emergency Management & Research Institute of India

Patricia Bailey, Public Health Specialist, Family Health International and Columbia University.

May 20, 2010

3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

6th Floor Flom Auditorium

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Please RSVP to with your name and affiliation.

Access to skilled birth attendants and emergency obstetric care are key solutions to improving maternal morality, yet functioning referral systems and poor road infrastructure delay efficient care. Increased research, funding, knowledge sharing, and coordination between private and public sectors are necessary to make transportation and referral a global health priority.

Today’s discussion will highlight the lessons and knowledge gaps identified at a Wilson Center workshop in Washington DC with 25 experts from the transportation and maternal health communities, as well as representatives from the private sector and donor community.

Víctor Conde Altamirano, obstetric nets manager, CARE-Bolivia will discuss how transportation and referral data is being incorporated into Bolivia’s health system to improve maternal health. John Koku Awoonor-Williams, east regional director, Ghana Health Service, will address the utilization and maintenance of ambulances in rural Ghana. Subodh Satyawadi, chief operating officer, GVK Emergency Management Institute will discuss the lessons learned and challenges faced through India’s “Emergency 108” call system. Strategies and recommendations identified at the Wilson Center workshop in Washington DC will be provided by Patricia Bailey, public health specialist, Family Health International.

About the Maternal Health Policy Series

The reproductive and maternal health community finds itself at a critical point, drawing increased attention and funding, but still confronting more than a half million deaths each year and a high unmet need for family planning. The Policy Dialogue series seeks to galvanize the community by focusing on important issues within the maternal health community.

The Wilson Center’s Global Health Initiative is pleased to present this series with its co-conveners, the Maternal Health Task Force and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and is grateful to USAID’s Bureau for Global Health for further technical assistance. The Averting Maternal Death and Disability (AMDD) program at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health provided valuable technical assistance to this transportation and referral meeting.

If you are interested, but unable to attend the event, please tune into the live or archived webcast at The webcast will begin approximately 10 minutes after the posted meeting time. You will need Windows Media Player to watch the webcast. To download the free player, visit:

Location: Woodrow Wilson Center at the Ronald Reagan Building: 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW (“Federal Triangle” stop on Blue/Orange Line), 6th Floor Flom Auditorium. A map to the Center is available at

Note: Photo identification is required to enter the building. Please allow additional time to pass through security.

For information on previous and future events in this series, click here.