Access to Maternal Health Commodities

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Unlike some other aspects of the development world, maternal health solutions are often straightforward and less controversial. Ask 10 experts how to improve local governance in a given country, and you’ll likely get 10 different answers. However, ask 10 experts how to treat post-partum hemorrhage, and you’ll likely get one answer: treat with misoprostol. This, however, doesn’t mean that maternal health is an issue we can ignore because the challenge is often how to get that knowledge and those supplies to those who need it. The science regarding maternal health is sound, but we still need to figure out how to put that science to use in low-resource settings.

This morning at the Woodrow Wilson center in Washington, D.C., the MHTF and UNFPA hosted “Expanding Access to Essential Maternal Health Commodities.” The discussion focused on methods to ensure that the necessary supplies that we know are essential for maternal health are available in low-resource settings. Elizabeth Leahy Madsen from Population Action International and Melodie Holden from Venture Strategies Innovations (VSI) discussed methods for getting supplies, such as misoprostol, into the hands of health workers and doctors in countries such as Bangladesh and Uganda.

On the Wilson Center’s website, you can view the video from this morning’s presentations and discussion and see the presentations given by the speakers.