What Are “Healthy” Markets and How Do They Contribute to Healthy Mothers?

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By: Erin Seaver, Market Dynamics Advocacy Officer at PATH

As a key strategy, Strategies toward Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality (EPMM) emphasizes increasing women’s access to maternal health products around the world. To support this, we must better understand the dynamics of the health care markets in which lifesaving maternal health medicines and tools are delivered…read more

What We Must Do to Get Oxytocin to the Women Who Need It

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By: Helen Petach, Senior MCH Science Advisor, USAID

Limited access to quality-assured essential medicines is a common problem across the globe. Quality assurance requires strong commitment to quality-assured manufacturers, wholesalers and ongoing quality testing. For relatively inexpensive maternal commodities, such as oxytocin, that are critically important—but not used in high volume—there is little financial incentive for private health sector involvement and more reliance on the public sector to manage procurement. For example, for every pregnancy in Kenya, there are 12 cases of diarrheal disease, and thus treatment with ORS will require more doses, and perhaps lead to greater profitability, than treatment with oxytocin. Thus, quality-assured oxytocin should be a key commodity in national procurements… read more

Uganda Policy Makes Protecting Pregnant Mothers From Malaria a National Priority

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By: Allen Namagembe, Research Coordinator, PATH Uganda Office

For any expecting mother there are many things to worry about – from ensuring her growing baby’s health to making preparations to welcome him or her into the world. Imagine if one of those concerns was malaria. For the 1.6 million Ugandan women who live in areas where malaria is endemic, contracting malaria while pregnant is a dangerous reality. Malaria in pregnancy, or MiP, significantly increases the risk of serious health issues for both mother and baby, including maternal anemia, miscarriage, stillbirth, prematurity and low birth weight. Since 2001, the government of Uganda has been making strides to include malaria prevention for pregnant women in their health policies… read more

In Nepal, Community Health Volunteers Increase Access to Reproductive Health Supplies

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By: Sarita Panday, University of Sheffield

Nepal has experienced a substantial reduction in maternal mortality in recent years. Credit has been given to community health workers known as Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHVs) for this achievement. However, Nepal still has a high rate of maternal mortality at 170 deaths per 100,000 live births and unsafe abortion is one of the main causes of these deaths. This blog is aimed to promote the function of FCHVs in pregnancy testing and making referrals in villages of Nepal… read more

Misoprostol for Postpartum Hemorrhage: Translating Promise Into Reality

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By: Melissa Wanda Kirowo, Advocacy Project Officer, FCI Program of Management Sciences for Health in Kenya

In Kenya, where I work as an advocate for women’s health and rights, women continue to die during pregnancy and childbirth at alarming rates. Approximately 25% of these deaths are due to heavy bleeding following childbirth, also known as postpartum hemorrhage or PPH. More than half of women deliver at home; that proportion can be even higher in some counties with limited infrastructure and predominantly rural populations. Even in cases where a woman arrives to a health facility in time, she can still face significant barriers to receive the care she needs… read more

Managing Postpartum Hemorrhage at Home Deliveries in Chitral, Pakistan

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By: Meagan Byrne, Program Assistant, Gynuity Health Projects

In Chitral district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Province, Pakistan, a high rate of home births translates to inadequate or nonexistent treatment for life-threatening obstetric complications, like postpartum hemorrhage (PPH). Customarily, home births are managed by a traditional birth attendant and if a complication like PPH arises, the only care available is to transfer the woman to a higher level facility or have a skilled provider called to the woman’s home to administer oxytocin as treatment. In Chitral, many villages are located far from health centers and access to care is especially difficult due to poor infrastructure and limited transport. Faced with these barriers, women who develop PPH are rarely transferred to a facility, so having treatment options available at home is critical… read more

Let’s Reward the Use of Maternal Health Supplies

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By: Milka Dinev, LAC Forum Regional Advisor, Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition

As far as maternal health supplies go, it is easy for groups to forget the role of the three key life-saving commodities and therefore fail to prioritize their presence in health facilities 100% of the time. Arguably, services — with their immediate human element — make for better story-telling a lot of the time. And good storytelling is a mainstay of the marketing and publicity that surround award mechanisms. And by comparison, supplies often carry rather sterile connotations of warehouses, supply chains, and transportation… read more