MamaMiso: A simple medicine provides hope to Uganda mothers
(January 2015) New research from Uganda shows that having community health workers distribute misoprostol to women planning to give birth at home is a safe and effective way to prevent post-partum hemmorhage, the leading cause of maternal death.►The FCI Blog
Breaking the silence on gender-based violence in Mali
(December 2014) Adama Sanogo of FCI-Mali writes that FCI's work with refugees from Mali's civil conflict is helping to bring victims of gender-based violence out of the shadows and providing them with access to life-restoring social and medical services.►The FCI Blog
Maternal health supplies ARE reproductive health supplies
(December 2014) At a Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition meeting in Mexico City, FCI engaged in discussion of the ways that efforts to strengthen supply chains for maternal health medicines can benefit from lessons learned in distribution of contraceptives.►The FCI Blog
Kenya health workers brave community health care alone
(November 2014) Many Kenyan health facilities have only one nurse to provide all patient care, putting a heavy strain on the health worker and making essential services unavailable for hours every day. Melissa Wanda of FCI-Kenya writes that FCI and partners are holding county governments accountable for addressing this dramatic and damaging health worker shortage.►The FCI Blog
UNGA week shows maternal, newborn health central to development
(October 2014) The unprecedented level of attention to women’s and children’s health at this year's UN General Assembly is a welcome sign of the centrality of the health of mothers and newborns to a range of development challenges, including climate change, humanitarian crises, and the Ebola epidemic, says FCI interim president Amy Boldosser-Boesch.►The FCI Blog
Women's Lives Matter
(October 2014) New research from FCI and partners shows that the impact of a woman’s death in pregnancy or childbirth goes far beyond the loss of a woman in her prime, and can mean death for her newborn and lasting damage to her surviving children.►The FCI Blog here, here, and here
Midwives and misoprostol: Saving lives from PPH
(August 2014) FCI's Shafia Rashid shows that putting misoprostol in the hands of midwives and other non‐physician providers can help ensure that every woman has access to the uterotonic medicines that can protect her from the suffering and potential death that can be caused by postpartum hemorrhage.►The FCI Blog
FCI and partners show SRHR key to post-2015 agenda
(August 2014) On behalf of the Universal Access Project, FCI has produced briefing cards on Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and the Post-2015 Development Agenda, explaining the links connecting SRHR with other key development issues including environmental sustainability, gender equality, economic growth, educational attainment, and broader health goals.►News story and publication
Amy Boldosser-Boesch named interim president; Ann Starrs joins FCI board
(July 14, 2014) FCI's board announced today that Amy Boldosser-Boesch, VP of Global Advocacy, is FCI's interim president, and that former president and co-founder Ann Starrs has joined the Board of Directors. ►Full story
Mapping maternal health advocacy in African countries
(July 2014) With support from Merck for Mothers, FCI published comprehensive mappings of the maternal health advocacy environment in two countries, Uganda and Zambia.►Uganda publication, Zambia publication, and The FCI Blog
Countdown to 2015 publishes new data on 75 priority countries
(July 2014) Countdown to 2015, for which FCI serves as lead advocacy partner, launched its 2014 report at the PMNCH Partners' Forum, with updated evidence on 75 countries accounting for over 95% of maternal and chid deaths.►Countdown website
ICEC study shows low awareness of EC
(June 2014) A new study published by the International Consortium for Emergency Contraception—ICEC (for which FCI serves as host organization) and researchers from Stony Brook University shows that, despite its unique potential for helping women avoid unintended pregnancies, the majority of women in almost every developing country have never heard of or used emergency contraceptive (EC) pills. The study's findings support ICEC's and FCI's focus on broadly disseminating information on EC, particularly among low-income women.►Article
FCI builds midwives skills in evidence-based advocacy
(June 2014) At the congress of the International Confederation of Midwives, FCI launched a toolkit to help national midwives' associations advocate for government investment and commitment to midwifery.►Publication and The FCI Blog
African advocates trained in budget advocacy
(June 2014) Catherine Lalonde, senior program officer for Francophone Africa, reports on a regional workshop to train civil society, parliamentarians, and the media from 5 West African countries on budget analysis and advocacy for maternal and child health.►The FCI Blog
Advocacy success story: Burkina Faso broadens misoprostol access
(April 2014) After focused advocacy led by FCI, the government of Burkina Faso revised its national Essential Medicines List to include misoprostol for the prevention and treatment of postpartum hemmorhage, the leading cause of maternal death. FCI's country director, Dr. Brahima Bassane, reported the details. ►The FCI Blog
FCI Kenya study reveals impact of maternal death on children, families, communities
(March 2014) An FCI research study sheds new light on the devastating impact of maternal death on families, bringing hard data and heart-breaking stories to a message that maternal health advocates have known for years: when women die, children suffer and families fall apart. ►Full story
Dr. Mphu Ramatlapeng joins FCI Board of Directors
(December 2013) Global health leader Mphu Keneiloe Ramatlapeng, currently Executive Vice President of HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis programs for the Clinton Health Access Initiative and previously Lesotho’s Minister of Health and Social Welfare, has joined the Board of Directors of Family Care International. ►Full story
Mali in Crisis: FCI helping victims of gender-based violence
(December 2013) Over the past two years, northern Mali has suffered a series of devastating crises. Mopti, a city where FCI has worked for several years, has seen a massive influx of people displaced from the drought and conflict-torn north of the country. UNICEF asked FCI to provide emergency support for the many women who experienced gender-based violence when war convulsed their home region, and to help protect the rights of children among the large displaced population. ►The FCI Blog
Community leaders in Burkina Faso leading on women’s and children’s health
(November 2013) In the remote villages of the Sahel region in northern Burkina Faso, most women still give birth at home. Alain Kaboré of FCI-Burkina Faso blogged about FCI's innovative program to train and mobilize religious and traditional leaders to encourage use of family planning and pre-natal services, give birth at health clinics offering skilled childbirth care, and prevent child marriage. ►The FCI Blog
Burkina Faso: Expanding Access to Misoprostol for Postpartum Hemorrhage
(October 2013) Many of Burkina Faso's more than 2,000 annual maternal deaths are caused by postpartum hemorrhage (PPH). FCI convened a meeting of 40 high-level officials from the Ministry of Health, local and international NGOs, and national professional societies to share the latest research and identify strategies for making misoprostol — a safe and effective medicine to prevent and treat PPH — more affordable and accessible. ►The FCI Blog
Improving Access, Saving Lives: Essential maternal health medicines
(September 2013) Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) and pre-eclampsia/eclampsia (PE/E) are the leading causes of maternal death. Although these conditions are preventable, too often life-saving medicines do not reach women in developing countries. FCI, together with MCHIP, PATH, and Jhpiego, hosted a Twitter expert hour to discuss how increasing access to simple, affordable maternal health commodities — misoprostol, oxytocin, and magnesium sulfate — has the potential to save millions of women’s lives. ►The FCI Blog
Nairobi budget-tracking workshop sharpens accountability efforts
(August 2013) More than 60 representatives of national parliaments, civil society, ministries of health, media, and development agencies from Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Uganda joined FCI staff from Kenya and the U.S. at an FCI-sponsored workshop to build their capacity to advocate for increased national budgets devoted to improving women’s and children’s health. ►Full story
Engaging Communities in Programs for Postpartum Hemorrhage Prevention
(July 2013) FCI president Ann Starrs describes the commentary she recently co-authored in the International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics, highlighting new global recommendations that support the role of community and lay health workers in distributing the drug misoprostol to prevent postpartum hemorrhage (PPH). Case studies from Nigeria and Nepal illustrate the essential role of community involvement in developing successful PPH strategies. ►The FCI Blog
From Obstetric Fistula Survivor to Empowered Citizen
(July 2013) In a blog cross-posted with the Frontline Health Workers Coalition, Alain Kaboré of FCI-Burkina Faso wrote of the critical role of frontline health workers in bringing fistula survivors out of the shadows and getting them treatment so that they can reclaim their lives. ►The FCI Blog
Webinar on misoprostol for PPH: Advocacy, Approval, Access
(May 8, 2013) In a global webinar hosted by FCI in partnership with Gynuity Health Projects, PSI, and PATH, experts from Tanzania, Uganda and Somaliland shared advocacy success stories on expanding access to misoprostol for treatment and prevention of postpartum hemorrhage (PPH), the leading cause of maternal death. Misoprostol is safe, effective, and practical for use both at health facilities and in home births, but is not widely available or accessible in many countries. Read full story (with links to audio recording and presentation slides)...
New articles on 'interconnected continuum' of mother & newborn
(May 2013) In a special issue, the Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine published a study conducted by a research team from Aga Khan University in Pakistan, in collaboration with FCI, that reviewed research on the linked impact of maternal and newborn health interventions, together with an editorial, by FCI president Ann Starrs and Gary Damstadt and France Donnay of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, highlighting "the profound interconnections between the survival, health and well-being of a woman and her newborn baby." Read full story...
What about an ounce of cure…? Treating PPH with misoprostol in low-resource settings
(April 22, 2013) The response to post-partum hemorrhage (PPH) — the single leading cause of maternal mortality — has been vigorous, but incomplete, write FCI president Ann Starrs and Beverly Winikoff, president of Gynuity Health Projects. While support for the use of misoprostol to prevent PPH has been growing steadily, governments, donors, and implementing agencies have not given equal emphasis to treating PPH when it does occur. Read more at The FCI Blog...
“It’s possible to to protect against child marriage; it’s possible end child marriage...”
(March 8, 2013) FCI president Ann Starrs blogged about Too Young to Wed, a side event to the 2013 annual meeting of the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women, which shed light on an issue that affects tens of millions of young women but is too seldom discussed. Read more at The FCI Blog...
FCI receives MacArthur Foundation award
(February 28, 2013) Family Care International is one of only 13 extraordinary nonprofit organizations around the world selected to receive the 2013 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, announced on February 28th. This $1 million one-time capacity-building award represents MacArthur's recognition of FCI's achievements and their investment in a strong foundation for FCI's future work. Read full story...
Lunch with African heads of state
(February 4. 2013) Edwinah Arwah Orowe, Advocacy Program Officer with FCI-Kenya, was one of three young people invited to represent African youth at a high-level ‘working lunch’ with nearly 30 African heads of state, as part of the 20th African Union Summit. Edwinah blogged about these high-level discussions on the Campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal, Newborn and Child Mortality in Africa (CARMMA). Read more at The FCI Blog...
Placing women at the center: Ann Starrs on 'rethinking the RMNCH continuum of care'
(January 2013) After moderating a spirited debate at the Global Maternal Health Conference in Tanzania, FCI president Ann Starrs blogged about how maternal health has fared as an element of the RMNCH continuum of care, and where we go from here. Read more at The FCI Blog...
Cristian Baeza joins FCI’s Board
(January 2013) Noted global health leader Cristian Baeza, until recently Director for Health, Nutrition and Population at the World Bank and now a partner at McKinsey & Co., has joined the FCI Board of Directors. "His experience, his insight, and his creative thinking are unmatched in the field, and we couldn’t be more excited to have him as a member of the FCI family,” said FCI president Ann Starrs. Read full story...
EC Jamboree honors champions
(November 2012) The International Consortium for Emergency Contraception (ICEC), which is hosted by FCI, and the American Society for Emergency Contraception (ASEC) held the annual EC Jamboree in New York City. The EC Jamboree brought together more than 100 advocates, researchers, pharmaceutical representatives, and other leaders in the field to discuss expanding efforts to ensure access to emergency contraception (EC) nationally and globally. Read more at The FCI Blog...
FCI at FIGO 2012
(October 2012) FCI was at the 20th World Congress of Gynecology and Obstetrics, convened in Rome, Italy, by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO). Read about it at The FCI Blog here and here...
Halting the spread of HIV in Ecuador’s indigenous communities
(October 2012) In partnership with the Spanish NGO Interarts, FCI organized a national advocacy event in Quito, Ecuador — Our Life, Our Rights: HIV Prevention for the Good Life — to strengthen political commitment and support for implementation of specific HIV prevention and treatment strategies for indigenous peoples and communities. Access to accurate information is critically important for preventing the spread of HIV among indigenous populations, and especially among young people in indigenous communities. This information must be provided in way that is culturally appropriate and relevant, so that young people have the knowledge they need to embark on safe and healthy adult lives. Read more at The FCI Blog...
UN event: Private providers important to maternal health care
(September 2012) FCI was proud to co-host a provocative discussion on The Role of Private Providers in Expanding Access to Affordable, Quality Maternal Healthcare. At this side event to the 2012 UN General Assembly, a distinguished panel of speakers that included the Nigerian Minister of Finance highlighted the crucial role that private providers play in ensuring access to quality maternal health care. “There is a consensus in most parts of the world that it is the responsibility of governments to ensure that all people have access to basic preventative and curative health care," said FCI president Ann Starrs in the event's concluding remarks. "But that doesn’t mean that governments have to provide those services themselves. Partnership is the key.” Read more at The FCI Blog...
Countdown to 2015 launches new report: Fewer maternal/child deaths; too many still dying
(June 2012) Countdown to 2015 launched Building a Future for Women and Children: The 2012 Report, which highlights country progress—and obstacles to progress—towards achieving MDGs 4 and 5 to reduce child mortality and improve maternal health. FCI is a key partner in the Countdown to 2015 initiative, co-heading (with the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health) Countdown's communications and advocacy efforts and sitting on Countdown's leadeship committee. Read full story...
Mexico City conference builds regional momentum on maternal health
(June 2012) The Regional Task Force on Maternal Mortality Reduction (Grupo de Trabajo Regional para la Reducción de la Mortalidad Materna, or GTR), for which FCI serves as Secretariat, collaborated with Women Deliver and other global health partners to hold a regional consultation in Mexico City. This conference, “Maternal Health in Latin America and the Caribbean: The Unfinished Agenda,” brought together more than 200 policy makers, health professionals, academics, representatives from regional civil society organizations, donors, international organizations, private businesses, and other global and regional stakeholders to discuss strategies for improving maternal health and reproductive health throughout the region. Read full story...
New lives for obstetric fistula survivors: success stories from Burkina Faso
(April 2012) Working with grassroots organizations in the remote Sahel region of Burkina Faso, on the edge of the Sahara Desert, an FCI program seeks to prevent obstetric fistula by improving women’s access to emergency obstetric care, and to provide surgical treatment for women living with fistula and support their reintegration into their communities. In two blog posts, FCI-Burkina Faso's Alain Kaboré tells the stories of women whose lives have been changed by this remarkable program. Read more at The FCI Blog here and here...
New publications focus on mother-newborn connections
(April 2012) Recent research conducted by scholars at Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan confirms what we already know — that the health of a woman and her newborn baby are intimately connected — and goes one step further: it identifies which maternal and newborn health interventions benefit both mother and newborn. To promote investment in and implementation of health interventions that can save the lives of both women and their newborn babies, FCI developed two publications summarizing the findings from this research and its impact on advocacy, policy, research, and programming. Read more at The FCI Blog...
Ann Starrs speaks at the UN about accountability
(February 2012) FCI president Ann Starrs spoke at the United Nations Association of the USA’s Members’ Day, at the UN on February 10, 2012. "In this time of limited and constrained resources," she said, "we must bring about greater efficiency and effectiveness in the ways that aid is allocated and programs are implemented. We must focus our resources and efforts on key countries, where the burden is highest, and on key, proven interventions. We must ensure that all stakeholders are held to account for fulfillment of their commitments: the Global Strategy only becomes truly meaningful when its promises are kept, and advocates (including my organization) are working hard to make sure that they are." Read Ann's full speech at The FCI Blog...
Follow the money: exploring the realities of health financing in Kenya
(January 2012) This year, with support a from the Transparency and Accountability Program of the Results for Development Institute, FCI-Kenya is evaluating communities’ knowledge and understanding of the 'direct facility funding' system — by which funds flow directly from the national government to cover the core costs of health facilities to provide high-quality services that are responsive to communities’ needs — and their level of satisfaction with health facilities’ quality of service and accountability. Read more at The FCI Blog...
FCI engages Clinton on women, reproductive health, HIV
(January 2012) Responding to a major November 2011 speech by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on U.S. HIV/AIDS policy, FCI president Ann Starrs joined leaders of nearly two dozen advocacy organizations from across the reproductive health community in urging Secretary Clinton to focus more on the links between HIV/AIDS and reproductive and maternal health. In a letter coordinated by FCI, CEOs expressed concern that her speech on creating an AIDS-free generation “included not a single mention of family planning, contraception, reproductive health, or maternal health.” In her reply, Clinton commended Starrs and other leaders “on your passion and your contributions for advancing women’s health and rights," and reiterated the Obama Administration's commitment to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights. Read full story...
Advocacy for access to misoprostol
(January 2012) In “Misoprostol for postpartum hemorrhage: Moving from evidence to practice,” a commentary in the January 2012 issue of the International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics (IJGO), FCI president Ann Starrs and Beverly Winikoff, president of Gynuity Health Projects, note the “growing consensus that misoprostol is a safe and effective option for preventing and treating PPH, particularly in settings where oxytocin — the gold standard drug — is not available or where its administration is not feasible.” Read more on The FCI Blog...
Maternal Health in Crisis: Health Workers on the Frontline
(September 2011) While world leaders met across the street in the United Nations General Assembly, leaders from the field of maternal health came together in New York City for the standing room-only event, Maternal Health in Crisis: Health Workers on the Frontline. Co-sponsored by FCI with Every Mother Counts, the International Confederation of Midwives, Jhpiego, The Lancet, Merck, and Save the Children, the event drew attention to the critical role of frontline health workers in achieving Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5, to improve maternal health. Read more at The FCI Blog...
FCI organizes meeting on misoprostol for post-partum hemorrhage
(July 2011) "The New York meeting aimed to translate the scientific evidence on misoprostol’s safety and efficacy into effective strategies for expanding women’s access to misoprostol at the country level." Read more at The FCI Blog...
Kenyan parliamentarians commit to maternal health advocacy
(July 2011) "Last Friday in Nairobi, members of Kenya’s Parliament came together with maternal health advocates to commit themselves to reversing these deplorable [maternal health] statistics. The meeting, organized by the advocacy coalition Women Alive, aimed to enlist parliamentarians, including members of the Kenya Women Parliamentary Association (KEWOPA), as advocates for increased national investment in programs that save women’s lives." Read more at The FCI Blog...
Mapping misoprostol for postpartum hemorrhage
(June 2011) Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is the largest cause of maternal mortality, accounting for nearly one-quarter of maternal deaths. Preventing and treating PPH is especially difficult in places where most births occur in homes or in local clinics and where access to emergency obstetric care is limited. Evidence shows that misoprostol —a medicine that can be delivered in pill form and stored without refrigeration — can play an important role in preventing and treating PPH. FCI, working with Gynuity Health Projects, commissioned a mapping to identify activities and approaches being taken by organizations working on misoprostol for PPH. Read more at The FCI Blog...
FCI co-sponsors UN event on girls, women, AIDS
(June 2011) The International Peace Institute, in collaboration with FCI, the Permanent Mission of Norway to the United Nations, and Women Deliver, hosted a policy forum entitled Prevention and Protection Save Lives: Girls, Women, and HIV on the sidelines of the 2011 UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS. Read about it at The FCI Blog...
What happened to the G8′s commitment to maternal, newborn & child health?
(June 2011) Advocates from FCI were at the 2011 G8 Summit in Deauville, France. Read FCI's take on the proceedings at The FCI Blog...
FCI helps launch Ecuador’s first Sexual and Reproductive Rights Observatory
(June 2011) FCI provided technical support to Ecuador’s National Health Council (CONASA) for the launch of Ecuador’s first National Sexual and Reproductive Rights Observatory for monitoring and reporting on the rate of compliance with health and reproductive rights, especially in relation to ethnic groups, diversity, gender, and generational issues. Read more, in English and Spanish, at The FCI Blog here and here...
FCI at the World Health Assembly
(May 2011) The 2011 World Health Assembly convened in Geneva, and FCI was there. Read more at The FCI Blog here, here, and here...
FCI at the UN Commission on Population & Development
(April 2011) As a leading advocate for reproductive health, FCI presented oral and written statements to the annual meeting of the United Nations Commission on Population and Development, highlighting that women — when they can control their fertility, when they are empowered and enabled, and when their rights are recognized — are drivers of economic growth and sustainable development. Read more at The FCI Blog here and here...