Kofi Annan on the G-20 Summit

Reflecting on this past weekend's G-20 summit on the global economy, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said, "It would be incredibly short-sighted - as well as immoral - for wealthy countries to use this financial crisis to drop promises to help the poorest."

The Importance of Cultural Sensitivity

It is important to have a deep understanding of the cultural influences that impact the reproductive health choices people make.

How Will Obama Deliver for Women?

One of the many remarkable and heartening aspects of the 2008 U.S. election is that it has engaged the entire world. As we have already heard from countless friends, colleagues, and supporters, we are suddenly living in a time not just of daunting challenges, but of inspiring opportunity and hope.

Q&A on Maternal Health Advocacy

Professor Jeremy Shiffman, a political scientist at Syracuse University who has a particular interest in maternal, newborn, and child health, has been developing a new field of enquiry to analyze the critical factors underlying successful political advocacy for global health causes.

BBC Documentary on Maternal Health

The BBC has produced a new multi-series documentary called “Survival” that includes a 45-minute look at maternal health in Bangladesh. To capture the true story, the filmmakers traveled to a remote area in the North East of Bangladesh and filmed the labor of a young woman, Morjina, in her small hut with the aid of traditional birth attendant, or dhai.

Remembering Allan Rosenfield

As many of you know, Dr. Allan Rosenfield passed away on Oct. 12, 2008. As the former dean of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and a pioneer in the field of maternal health, family planning, and HIV/AIDS, his death is being mourned by those who knew him and knew his work. 

The Pillars of Maternal Health

Judith F. Helzner wrote a blog post on RH Reality Check all about the pillars of maternal health that are necessary to support a sustained drop in pregnancy-related deaths.

Spotlight on Sierra Leone

There was a great feature in the Washington Post this weekend all about maternal mortality in Sierra Leone. Unfortunately, Sierra Leone has an extremely high maternal mortality rate -- 1 in 8 women die during childbirth.

Know Your Rights

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, animator Seth Brau brought the important words to life with motion graphics. Check out the video below to see his moving interpretation. And remember that maternal health is a human right. Health care improvements must come within a broader context of efforts to promote human rights, reduce poverty, and foster equality between men and women.

Financial Crisis: What it Means for the MDGs

These are tough economic times for most countries around the world, but Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed the importance of continued support for the efforts of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to empower the world’s women, particularly to improve maternal health and promote gender equality. 

Why is Africa Plagued with Maternal Mortality?

There's a great blog post on RH Reality Check today about maternal mortality in Africa: On Maternal Mortality, Why Africa Falls So Far Behind. In the post, Edna Adan Ismail lists some of the reasons why African women die in pregnancy and childbirth.

Kangaroo Mother Care

Check out this video about the success of Kangaroo Mother Care in Malawi.

Martha Stewart Gets Onboard!

Watch this video clip of Martha Stewart talking about the dinner hosted by Sarah Brown, Wendi Murdoch and Queen Rania last week in NYC.

Giving Birth in Afghanistan

Oxfam took Alix Fazzina, a top photojournalist, to Badakhshan, Afghanistan, where she met and photographed the families behind the statistics and the doctors, midwives and traditional birth attendants trying to save women’s lives.

Op-Ed from Thoraya Obaid

Everyday, over 1,400 women and adolescent girls die needlessly from giving birth and 40,000 more suffer injuries and disabilities that can last a lifetime. Complications of pregnancy are the leading cause of death for young women aged 15 to 19 in the developing world.

Maternal Health in the Spotlight

Yesterday, the event we co-organized at the UN Millennium Hotel was a giant success. At Commitment to Progress for Mothers, Newborns and Children, the co-hosts, Presidents of Chile, Finland, and the United Republic of Tanzania, put the world on alert that the 2015 targets to reduce maternal and child mortality will not be met without concerted global action.

‘Death in Birth’

There's a moving article in a recent TIME magazine about maternal mortality around the world.

Sarah Brown on Maternal Mortality

"500,000 women a year die in childbirth... you can save them." -- Sarah Brown.

Mobile Phones and Global Health

Many thanks to DataDyne, the nonprofit (sponsored by the UN Foundation and Vodafone Foundation) that developed a software application for mobile phone devices that enables public health workers in developing countries to collect data more efficiently. (Found via UN Dispatch) Yesterday, the UN Foundation and the Vodafone Foundation, together with the World Health Organization announced that its EpiSurveyor program will expand to 22 sub-Saharan African countries by the end of the year. Check out this video of a DataDyne employee who helped train health workers in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo explain why this technology is so significant. Click through to watch a video.

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