On this, the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, I would like to take the opportunity to emphasize our commitment to maternal health worldwide. We continue to focus on long term goals to ensure good health for women everywhere.
MCHIP is now working in more than 35 countries throughout the world. In Kano, Nigeria, MCHIP has worked with State Ministry of Health to strengthen the quality of care, which is the objective of the program. At the Murtala Muhammed Specialist Hospital in Kano, Nigeria, the maternal mortality ratio has dropped from over 2,000 to 900 over the past three years, which means that fewer women are dying from preventable causes.
In Mozambique, significant strides have been made to humanize the childbirth process by working with the Ministry of Health and local maternity centers to encourage doctors to provide women with more choices during the process and empower the patients throughout their experience.
Last year MCHIP also partnered with the WHO, UNICEF and UNFPA on a global initiative to improve obstetric care and to develop standardized tools for midwifery care.
Along with our partner organizations and as USAID’s flagship maternal, newborn and child health integrated program, we have a special interest in the advancement of women worldwide and, together, we are working to improve gender equality and women’s empowerment because they are imperative to effective development policy.
As we work to ensure healthy futures for women and children around the world – and continue to work with the governments of our host countries to make it all possible – it is important to acknowledge the successes we have made already but also to remember that much work remains to be done.
We cannot forget the women who still need our help. Please take a moment to review the maternal health resources available on our website.
Thank you for your continued interest in MCHIP.
Koki Agarwal, MD, MPH, DrPH