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Perspectives on Maternal Health

Insights and additional information from our maternal health experts.

Taking Quality Improvement to the Next Level: How Our "Golden" Public-private Partnership is Advancing Maternal Health Care in India and Providing Lessons for Other Countries

Dr. Hema Divakar, FOGSI Ambassador to the Federation of International Gynaecologists and Obstetricians, April 17, 2017

Many travelers to India, my home country, seek out the "golden triangle" that is Delhi, Agra and Jaipur – three distinct destinations, each place offering something different and beautiful and essential to the visitor's experience.


Reflections From My First 100 Days at Merck For Mothers

Dr. Mary-Ann Etiebet, Executive Director, Merck for Mothers, March 21, 2017

A few weeks into my new role as Executive Director for Merck for Mothers I found myself front row and center at the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos, a proud moment for Merck and our 10-year, $500 million initiative to end preventable maternal deaths. It was at Davos that we announced our $10 million commitment to the Global Financing Facility (GFF), a multi-stakeholder partnership hosted by the World Bank that finances country-led efforts to improve maternal and child health.


Financing Healthy Futures to Meet the SDGs

Mariam Claeson, Director of the Global Financing Facility, February 16, 2017

This article was originally published on Feb. 8 to Devex.com.


Stronger Together: Building Capacity and Creating Networks to Improve Maternal Care in India

Dr. Mahesh Srinivas, Director of Programs, Pathfinder International (India) and Chandrashekhar Joshi, General Manager, World Health Partners, January 19, 2017

When Sunita, a 23-year-old woman from the village of Sajethi in Uttar Pradesh, India, became pregnant with her third child, she went to the nearest public health center. She was registered and asked to return during her second trimester when she would receive immunizations.


Addressing Maternal Health in Europe Takes All of Us

Jacqueline Bowman - Busato, Policy Lead, the Alliance for Maternal Health Equality, November 16, 2016

Globally, Europe's healthcare model is often viewed positively, perceived to be streamlined and highlighted as an example of what "good" looks like.


Ensuring Quality in Private Maternity Care

Dr. Naveen Rao, Merck for Mothers, Hema Divakar, FOGSI; Frank Kaharuza, AOGU; Bulbul Sood, Jhpiego India, October 13, 2016

One of the most challenging areas of maternal health is measuring, improving and assuring quality of care.


Improving Maternal Healthcare for the Most Disadvantaged Women

Dr. Naveen Rao, Lead, Merck for Mothers, September 1, 2016

With so much conflict and upheaval in the world right now, it’s women—especially pregnant women—who are facing some of the most devastating consequences of war and recession.


Enhancing the Management Capabilities of Ministries of Health to Reduce Maternal Mortality

Kathy Korsen, Director, Learning & Development and Merck for Mothers Ambassador, August 1, 2016

As a Merck for Mothers Ambassador, I am always looking for ways where I can personally make a difference in the important work that our company is focused on to improve the health and well-being of mothers during pregnancy and childbirth.


In Zambia, a Maternity Waiting Home Takes Shape

Scott Higgins, Director of Operations, Merck for Mothers, July 1, 2016

Back in April, I joined a fact-finding mission to Zambia, where MSD for Mothers is supporting the construction of 12 maternity waiting homes. Representatives from each of our Zambia partners were there: Africare and Boston University, the two NGOs overseeing the building projects, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The ELMA Foundation, the two private donor organizations helping us fund the program.


The Second Time Around

Ryan Hansen, June 1, 2016

The statistics surrounding maternal mortality in the United States in 2016 are frightening. Although the global number of maternal deaths has decreased by 44% since 1990, the number of women dying in pregnancy and childbirth in the U.S. has increased during the same time period.


Keeping All Options Open: How the Private Sector Helped Senegal Address its Market Challenges for Family Planning and Bring Back Choice to Women

Dr. Priya Agrawal, Executive Director, Merck for Mothers, April 28, 2016

For many women in the developing world, pregnancy is a high-risk proposition. Phrases meaning "I am pregnant" that are commonly used in Ethiopia and other countries with exceptionally high maternal mortality literally translate to "I have one foot in the grave."


Mothers of the World - Shining a Spotlight on Maternal Health

Dr. Priya Agrawal, Executive Director, Merck for Mothers, April 21, 2016

At the Women in the World Summit in New York City in early April, as I listened to business leaders and advocates and human rights activists lay bare the many struggles facing women today, I noted a common theme linking almost every story and message: mothers and motherhood. So many of the individuals I encountered at the event, women who have dedicated their lives and careers to combatting inequity, injustice and deprivation, cited their own mothers as their motivating force, or their role as parents seeking to build a better future for their children and their communities.


The SDGs Have Been Adopted and the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health Has Been Launched – Now What?

Dr. Naveen Rao, Lead, Merck for Mothers, February 10, 2016

Earlier this fall, leaders from 193 nations convened in New York City for the U.N. General Assembly to ratify the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – the latest international effort to eliminate poverty and disease by 2030. The SDGs provide a framework for saving and improving the lives of billions of people around the world, including the nearly 300,000 women who still die every year from complications of pregnancy and childbirth. Maternal mortality is prioritized under SDG 3.1, which calls for a global reduction in the maternal mortality ratio to 70 deaths per 100,000 live births – a sharp decline from the current ratio of 210.