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Shafia Rashid is senior program officer for the Global Advocacy program at Family Care International.
Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH)—excessive, uncontrolled bleeding during or after childbirth—is the leading cause of maternal death around the world. Despite this, the condition is almost entirely preventable and treatable. In some parts of the world, women give birth at home or in health facilities lacking the essential supplies and equipment to manage PPH and other life-threatening complications.
Wherever a woman decides to give birth, she needs access to life-saving, uterus-contracting drugs, called uterotonics, for the prevention and treatment of PPH. The recommended uterotonic, injectable oxytocin, requires cold storage and technical skill to administer, making it difficult or impossible to use in many rural and low-resource areas. Misoprostol is a safe and effective uterotonic and a good alternative in community settings since it doesn’t require refrigeration or administration by a professional.
Amy Boldosser-Boesch is the Interim President and CEO at Family Care International. This article originally appeared on the Maternal Health Task Force blog as part of a series for the Global Maternal and Newborn Health Conference, October 2015 in Mexico City.
The year 2015 has been one of dramatic movement for global maternal and newborn health—from the end of the Millennium Development Goals to the beginning of a universal and even more ambitious global agenda. The Global Maternal and Newborn Health Conference is a key moment to examine how the Sustainable Development Goals will help ensure and improve quality of care, integration and equity. I’m pleased to see on the conference program a focus on midwives, a key partner in turning the conference themes and focus into a reality for women and their families everywhere.
At this crossroads moment in global development, it’s a travesty that the countries burdened with 92% of the world’s maternal and newborn deaths have only 42% of the world’s midwives, nurses and doctors. Even though we have the medicines and the technology to make sure no woman or newborn dies from preventable causes, a person’s place of residence often still determines whether–and how–she will live or die. This is simply unacceptable. Fortunately, skilled midwives can prevent up to two-thirds of maternal and newborn deaths, and in doing so can turn around health care in their communities, according to UNFPA’s State of the World’s Midwifery Report 2014.
This new video looks at the past and to the future of Countdown to 2015, a global movement of academics, governments, international agencies, health-care professional associations, donors, and nongovernmental organizations to stimulate and support country progress towards achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Countdown launched its last report of the MDG era—a final accounting of progress and remaining gaps in the 75 countries that have more than 95% of all maternal, newborn and child deaths—at the Global Maternal Newborn Health Conference in Mexico City.
FCI is proud to be the co-lead communications and advocacy partner in Countdown to 2015.
A Decade of Tracking Progress for Maternal, Newborn and Child Survival: Lessons from Countdown to 2015 for monitoring and accountability in the SDG era
By Zulfiqar A. Bhutta and Mickey Chopra
Zulfiqar Bhutta, of the Centre for Global Child Health, Hospital for Sick Children (Canada) and Aga Khan University (Pakistan), and Mickey Chopra, of The World Bank, are co-chairs of Countdown to 2015. This article originally appeared on the Maternal Health Task Force blog as part of a series for the Global Maternal and Newborn Health Conference, October 2015 in Mexico City.
‘Ten years from now, in 2015,’ said the opening line of the first Countdown to 2015 report, published in 2005, ‘the governments of the world will meet to assess if we have achieved the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the most widely ratified set of development goals ever, signed onto by every country in the world.’
Salimata Sourgou comes from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. She joined FCI as an administrative assistant in our office in Ouagadougou, and since last year, she has worked as a program assistant on the Mobilizing Advocates from Civil Society (MACS) project, which brings together civil society organizations and equips them with skills to be effective advocates. We spoke with her about her work as a member of the FCI Burkina Faso team.
By Catherine Lalonde and Kathleen Schaffer
Catherine Lalonde is the senior program officer for the Francophone Africa program, and Kathleen Schaffer is the senior program officer for the Anglophone Africa program.
Evaluating advocacy is far from simple. Advocacy is not straightforward, as advocates often need to readjust strategies to influence decision-makers when government leaders and policies change. So it’s often difficult to attribute a policy success to a specific advocacy effort. We are grappling with these challenges firsthand as we evaluate our advocacy project Mobilizing Advocates from Civil Society (MACS).
Catherine Lalonde is the senior program officer for the Francophone Africa program.
Saving the lives of women and children around the world is a team effort. It takes the voices of community and religious leaders, health professionals, concerned citizens, young people, and impassioned activists to effect change. Prioritizing women’s and children’s health requires sustained advocacy.
Yet, determining whether certain advocacy efforts are actually achieving desired results—evaluating an advocacy program—is challenging. Through the evaluation of our Mobilizing Advocates from Civil Society (MACS) project, which brings together civil society organizations and equips them with skills to be effective advocates, we are reflecting on what it means to evaluate advocacy.
By Alexia Escóbar
Alexia Escóbar is the National Coordinator for FCI-Bolivia.
In April, I journeyed by boat along Bolivia’s Ichilo River to a remote community of the Yuracaré people. I hoped to better understand how pregnant women from these poor indigenous villages travel to the nearest health facility–located an hour and a half away—for the skilled care they need. During our trip to Tres Islas, colleagues from UNICEF Bolivia and I discovered that these women face not only transportation difficulties but also many other barriers in accessing culturally respectful, high-quality health care. read more…
Sexual and reproductive health and rights beyond 2015: UN concludes negotiations on sustainable development agenda (Arabic)
أخذت المفاوضات الحكومية الدولية النهائية على جدول أعمال التنمية لما بعد عام 2015 في نيويورك في الفترة من 20-31 يوليو، 2015 وبلغت المناقشات ذروتها في اعتماد “تحويل عالمنا: جدول أعمال 2030 للتنمية المستدامة” من قبل 193 دولة من الدول الأعضاء، مساء الاحد 2 أغسطس بعد فترة طويلة و مفاوضات شاقة.
دعي ممثلي الشبكات الإقليمية للصحة الإنجابية و الجنسية من جميع أنحاء العالم، جنبا إلى جنب مع صندوق الأمم المتحدة للسكان، بلا كلل في هذه المفاوضات – كما لدينا في كل الدورات السابقة التفاوض الحكومية الدولية – لضمان أن جدول أعمال ما بعد 2015 ويضمن حقوق الإنسان، لا سيما من SRHR كل الناس في كل مكان. يجلب المساواة بين الجنسين في صدارة؛ يعترف دور الشباب كعوامل رئيسية من التغيير؛ ويشمل ذلك المشاركة الفعالة للمجتمع المدني في تشكيل التنمية العالمية، على الصعيدين القطري والعالمي.
Les dernières négociations intergouvernementales sur l’élaboration de l’ordre du jour de l’après-2015 se sont tenues à New York du 20 au 31 juillet 2015 et ont abouti à l’adoption par 193 États Membres de Transformer notre monde : Ordre du jour de 2030 pour le développement durable le dimanche 2 août au soir, après de longues négociations difficiles. De concert avec l’UNFPA, les représentants des réseaux régionaux de santé et droits sexuels et reproductifs du monde entier ont infatigablement plaidé durant ces négociations – comme nous l’avons fait au cours de chacune des sessions précédentes des négociations intergouvernementales – pour veiller à ce que l’ordre du jour de l’après-2015 garantisse les droits humains, notamment la santé et les droits sexuels et reproductifs de tous les individus où qu’ils soient, place l’égalité des sexes au premier plan, reconnaisse le rôle des jeunes en tant que principaux agents du changement et inclue la participation active de la société civile à forger le développement mondial, tant au niveau national qu’au niveau international.
La salud y los derechos sexuales y reproductivos después de 2015: ONU concluye las negociaciones de la agenda de desarrollo sostenible
Entre el 20 y 31 de julio de 2015, se llevaron a cabo las negociaciones finales entre los gobiernos en torno a la agenda de desarrollo post 2015 en Nueva York. Estas culminaron el domingo 2 de agosto con la adopción del documento de consenso: Transformar nuestro mundo: la agenda de desarrollo sostenible 2030, por parte de 193 Estados Parte, luego largas y arduas negociaciones.
Sexual and reproductive health and rights beyond 2015: UN concludes negotiations on sustainable development agenda
The final intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda took place in New York July 20-31, 2015 culminating in the adoption of Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by 193 Member States on Sunday evening, August 2 after long and arduous negotiations. Representatives of regional sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) networks from around the world, together with UNFPA, advocated tirelessly at these negotiations–as we have during each of the previous intergovernmental negotiation sessions–to ensure that the post-2015 agenda guarantees human rights, particularly the SRHR of all people everywhere; brings gender equality to the forefront; recognizes young people’s role as key agents of change; and includes the active participation of civil society in shaping global development, both at country and global levels.
Sékou Traoré, 26, became one of FCI Mali’s youth peer educators, or un educateur-leadeur, two years ago. He works as a mechanic at a garage in Bamako, making him one of many Malian youths who work in the economy’s informal sector. Youth in the informal sector have been, and remain, difficult to reach with health awareness and advocacy messages, because they take jobs rather than attend school where these youth health messages are concentrated.
While Sékou maintains his job, he works for FCI as a peer educator as often as time allows, sometimes once a week for a few hours, and sometimes two or three times a week. Sékou dedicates most of his free time to FCI.
By Amy Boldosser-Boesch and Mary Kinney
Amy Boldosser-Boesch, is Interim President and CEO of Family Care International (FCI) and Mary Kinney is Specialist with Save the Children, Saving Newborn Lives. This post originally appeared on the Healthy Newborn Network blog.
The global health community gathered on Tuesday evening, May 19 to recognize the importance of integrating maternal and newborn care and to celebrate the release of the Every Newborn Action Plan (ENAP) Progress Report May 2015 and Strategies Toward Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality (EPMM). The side session at the 68th World Health Assembly Integrating maternal and newborn care: Strengthening the continuum was standing room only as a panel of champions for integration of maternal and newborn health took the stage. Co-sponsored by the Governments of Malawi and Cameroon, this event was planned with the support of a wide range of partners.*