MH Policy Dialogue: Accessing Maternal Health Care Services in Urban Slums: What Do We Know?

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 Please join the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Global Health Initiative, the Maternal Health Task Force, the United Nations Population Fund and the African Population & Health Research Center for a discussion of:


Accessing Maternal Health Care Services in Urban Slums: What Do We Know?


moderated by


John Townsend, Vice President of Reproductive Health Program, Population Council




Luc De Bernis, Senior Advisor on Maternal Health in Africa, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
Anthony Kolb, Urban Health Advisor, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
Katherine Kyobutungi, Director of Health Systems and Challenges, African Population & Health Research Center (APHRC)


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

5th Floor Conference Room

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC


Please RSVP to with your name and affiliation.

According to the UNFPA, more people now live in urban settings than rural, and projections estimate global urban population growth will double by 2030. Health care services in many urban areas have not kept pace with rapid population growth, and despite their relative proximity to services compared to rural areas, women living in the resulting slums do not necessarily have access to higher quality maternal health care. In cities like Nairobi, maternal mortality rates in urban slums are higher than the country’s average. Monitoring the health needs of urban slums is a serious challenge and these marginalized populations often fall through the cracks as they receive little attention from researchers, donors, NGOs, and governments.


Anthony Kolb, urban health advisor for USAID will discuss the challenges of tracking health indicators in urban slums and how “slum mapping” can be utilized to improve maternal health. Katherine Kyobutungi, director of health systems and challenges for APHRC in Kenya, will discuss the status of maternal health in Nairobi’s informal settlements and share lessons learned translating research into policy action. Luc De Bernis, senior advisor on maternal health in Africa at UNFPA, will discuss family planning interventions used to improve maternal mortality rates in informal settings.


About the 2011 Maternal Health Policy Series
As one of the few forums dedicated to maternal health, the Woodrow Wilson Center’s 2011 Advancing Policy Dialogue on Maternal Health series brings together senior-level policymakers, academic researchers, media, and civil servants from the U.S. government and foreign consuls to identify challenges and discuss strategies for advancing the maternal health agenda.

In order to promote greater voices from the field, the 2011 dialogue is partnering with the African Population & Health Research Center in Kenya to co-host a two-part dialogue series with local, regional, and national decision-makers on effective maternal health policies and programs. These in-country dialogue meetings will create a platform for field workers, policymakers, program managers, media, and donors to share research, disseminate lessons learned, and address concerns related to policy, institutional, and organizational capacity building.

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.