From 4-6 May, the Asia Regional Meeting on Interventions for Impact in Essential Obstetric and Newborn Care is being held in Dhaka, Bangladesh, with an opening ceremony and optional supplementary sessions on 3 May 2012. Organized by the Government of Bangladesh, MCHIP, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-supported Oxytocin Initiative, in collaboration with Women Deliver, VSI, FIGO, and ICM, this three-day meeting will focus on postpartum hemorrhage (PPH), pre-eclampsia/ eclampsia (PE/E) and other aspects of maternal and newborn health.
For more information on the conference, click here. A live webcast begins May 4th, and related resources -- included presentations -- can be found here. Please also connect with the conference via Facebook and Twitter!
Below is the first of a series of blogs from conference attendees. Please find other blogs in the series by:
Dr. Jeffrey Smith on a decade of maternal health successes and the challenges ahead,
Rae Galloway and Dr. Justine Kavle on introducing and implementing calcium supplementation to prevent pre-eclampsia,
Dr. Nuriye Hodoglugil on misoprostol use and acceptance, and
Ms. Pashtoon Azfar on the role and importance of midwives.
As the Director of PATH’s Oxytocin Initiative project, I am really pleased that we have been able to support and co-organize the Interventions for Impact in Essential Obstetric and Newborn Care conference again this year. Last year the conference was held in Addis Ababa and was focused on the African Region and we had participation from over 20 African countries. We always said that we wanted to do the same thing for Asia and I am really pleased that we have been able to make that happen with this Asia Regional Conference in Dhaka.
For me, the most important thing is that participants are given a chance to hear about what is working both globally and locally and come away with some practical ideas and options for improving obstetric and newborn care, and addressing postpartum hemorrhage and pre-eclampsia/eclampsia, in their home contexts. This is not a conference for and about global experts and researchers. Rather, it is a conference for local experts and practitioners and meant as an opportunity for north-south and south-south information sharing, networking and capacity building.
Given the Oxytocin Initiative Project’s focus on uterotonics and their role in reducing postpartum hemorrhage and maternal mortality, I am especially pleased about the line up for Day 1. We are hearing directly from countries and learning how they were able to make significant reductions in maternal mortality over the last decade, and we are also getting updates on global guidelines and research from WHO and other global experts, and from local practitioners who have experience implementing initiatives on the ground. In the afternoon we are also having a chance to talk about maternal health drugs and commodities, a very important and timely subject, especially given the new UN Commission looking at these issues.
Reducing maternal and newborn mortality requires long-term commitment and engagement, and there is no one path to success. However, I hope that this conference provides participants with both the information and inspiration to make significant improvements in maternal and newborn mortality over the next decade. Several Asian countries are already well on the road to success, but more needs to be done. After all, no woman should die giving life.
Director, PATH’s Oxytocin Initiative project