Maternal Health Task Force


The MHTF at Women Deliver

By: Sarah Blake, MHTF consultant

The MHTF is packing up and heading to Malaysia for the Women Deliver conference May 28-30. Women Deliver conferences always provides a unique forum for advocates, donors, researchers, programmers and policy makers to come together address a range of issues affecting women and girls.

This year’s conference comes in the midst of a number of major developments for the global maternal health agenda. In the past year, the London Summit on Family Planning generated $4 billion in new investments in family planning, and launched the FP2020 campaign. This is big news for maternal health, since one third of maternal deaths could be prevented just by addressing the unmet need for family planning. And, the 1000 Day countdown to the 2015 MDG deadline began amid ongoing negotiations for the post-2015 global development agenda.  In fact, in just the past week, the World Health Organization released  the 2013 World Health Statistics report – which shows that maternal mortality continues to decline by around three percent annually – half of what is needed to reach MDG5 by 2015; the World Health Assembly began discussions of the recommendations of the UN Commission on Lifesaving Commodities for Women and Children; and the inaugural International Day to End Obstetric Fistula was marked.

As we look ahead to the conference, we look forward to hearing:

  • What will Melinda Gates say about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s family planning strategy?
  • What will UN leaders and grassroots advocates say about how maternal health and the post-2015 global development framework?
  • What will this year’s Countdown to 2015 country profiles show about which countries are accelerating progress toward improving maternal health?
  • How will UNFPA’s new initiatives on family planning and maternal health foster new partnerships and innovative technologies to expand access and quality of health services?

What discussions, announcements and events are you looking forward to? Please join us in person and online next week:

  • On Tuesday, May 28, Ana Langer, Director the Women and Health Initiative and Professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, will take part in the Presidential Session on Women’s Health on at 14:45 in the Plenary Hall.
  • Throughout the conference, the MHTF will be at booth #201.
  • Our colleagues at the Wilson Center will be blogging highlights from each day’s events.
  • We will be sharing a special Women Deliver edition of the MH Buzz next week to highlight new research findings and other top news for the conference.

Women Deliver will be webcasting videos of many sessions live, and will save videos as archives for viewing later. Plus, the Women Deliver website has links to tons of other ways that you can participate – even if you cannot make it to Malaysia. Check out their ongoing blog series on the 2013 conference,  the conference agenda, and schedule of partner and side events.

Whether you’re participating in the conference online or in person, please share your thoughts with us: the MHTF will be cross-posting blog posts and re-tweeting maternal health news throughout the conference. Follow us on Twitter @MHTF or email any blog posts that you would like us to consider for guest or cross-posting to Kate Mitchell: or Sarah Blake:

Categories: Women Deliver 2013 Series


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