New York — Acknowledging the global health community’s success in significantly reducing childbirth-related deaths worldwide, experts attending a Jhpiego-hosted event on maternal health Monday recognized the challenges yet to overcome and the new partnerships needed to sustain progress in saving mothers’ lives.
The event, “Success in Saving Mothers,” drew more than 200 participants to a New York hotel ballroom for a discussion of the interventions and partnerships that have contributed to a nearly 50 percent decline in maternal deaths since 1990. Doctors Richard Besser, ABC News Chief Health and Medical Editor, and Richard A. Horton, editor of The Lancet, served as moderators of the event, which featured distinguished speakers from the U.S. Agency for International Development and its flagship global Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP), the Government of Indonesia, UNFPA, the White Ribbon Alliance-India, Merck and Jhpiego.
In welcoming the crowd, Dr. Leslie Mancuso, Jhpiego President and CEO, commended the members of the global health community for their extraordinary work on behalf of women around the world and underscored their commitment to saving women’s lives.
“All of you have worked tirelessly to ensure that regardless of the economic status of a woman, regardless of her geographic location — a woman should be healthy and alive in pregnancy and childbirth,” she told the breakfast meeting. “Through the dedication and handiwork of so many of you and so many of our colleagues around the world, we’ve been able to decrease the number of woman dying in pregnancy and childbirth close to half — from 500,000 to 279,000 over two decades. What does that mean to us? It means each year a quarter of a million women are living — able to watch their children thrive and grow through their love and support. It means those mothers now have intact families, strong communities, prosperous countries and are making an impact on our world today.
“Let there be no doubt, we have a long way to go because no woman should die needlessly due to preventable causes,” Dr. Mancuso said.
Jhpiego and its co-sponsors, USAID, MCHIP, ExxonMobil, Abt Associates, John Snow, Inc., PATH and Merck, convened the childbirth survival event this week to keep maternal health issues at the forefront of policy discussions under way at the United Nations and the Clinton Global Initiative. Read More »