A New Drug Shows Promise in Preventing One of the Most Common Causes of Maternal Death

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By: Kayla McGowan, Project Coordinator, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

A large randomized trial conducted by the World Health Organization has found that heat-stable carbetocin is as safe and effective as oxytocin in preventing postpartum hemorrhage—excessive bleeding after childbirth and one of the leading causes of global maternal deaths…read more

World Malaria Day: New Resources for Addressing Malaria in Pregnancy

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By: Kayla McGowan, Project Coordinator, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

While the number of deaths from malaria has declined around the world, malaria in pregnancy (MiP) continues to pose substantial health risks to pregnant women and newborns. MiP is a large contributor of global maternal deaths, and in sub-Saharan Africa, malaria infection in pregnancy accounts for approximately one in five stillbirths and one in ten newborn deaths. MiP can lead to other complications including anemia, prematurity and low birthweight…read more

10 Lessons From The BetterBirth Study

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By: Katherine Semrau, Director of the BetterBirth Program at Ariadne Labs, Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and Associate Epidemiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital Division of Global Health Equity

The BetterBirth Program team at Ariadne Labs and partners recently led one of the world’s largest maternal newborn health trials in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Using bedside peer-coaching of birth attendants and facility managers, along with the World Health Organization’s Safe Childbirth Checklist, researchers focused on improving birth attendants’ use of basic care practices. The results showed marked improvement in care—but no reduction in mortality rates…read more

A Low-Cost Care Bundle Reduces Preterm Infant Mortality in Tanzania

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By: Teertha Arora, Candidate for Masters in Public Health (Global Health), Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Despite progress, Tanzania’s under-five mortality rate continues to be high—largely driven by deaths during the first week of birth. A pilot study recently assessed the benefits of a low-cost, evidence-based preventive care bundle on preterm infant mortality. The pilot was introduced at three university-affiliated and one district hospital with support from the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Tanzania…read more

Upcoming Webinar: A Global Survey of Skilled Birth Attendants

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Please join the Fistula Community of Practice on 10 April 2018 at 9:00 am Eastern Daylight Time for a webinar sharing findings from a global survey of skilled-birth attendants (SBAs) in low- and middle-income countries. The survey examined SBAs’ training, knowledge, practices and facility environment as they relate to intrapartum and postpartum bladder care and management of prolonged/obstructed labor…read more

Improving Health Facility Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) for Enhanced Delivery of Quality Maternal and Newborn Health Services in Kenya

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By: Abdi Hassan, WASH Specialist, UNICEF Kenya; Lutomia Mangala, Health Specialist, UNICEF Kenya

World Water Day is an opportunity to reflect on the availability—or lack—of clean water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities in places providing maternal health care around the world. A 2015 World Health Organization rapid assessment of WASH coverage in health care facilities in 54 low- and middle-income countries found that 38% of these facilities lacked access to an improved water source, or one that is likely to be protected from outside contamination. Learn how Kenya has improved WASH conditions in select health facilities in high-burden districts…read more