Our vision is a world where women should have equal access to high-quality maternal care before, during and after the pregnancy experience.
We have made some progress. According to the Maternal Health Task Force, between 1990 and 2015, the global maternal mortality ratio (MMR) decreased by 44%, from 385 to 216 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. Yet, the world still fell far short of the Millennium Development Goals target of a 75% reduction in the global MMR by 2015, with persistent geographic inequalities.
We believe that this struggle to provide adequate care to women throughout the pregnancy, childbirth, and fertility wellbeing continuum – despite the many exciting opportunities provided by advances in healthcare, the Internet and globalization – is due to inefficient systems. We work in silos in terms of where we are, whether we are locally focused or internationally focused, the organisations and people we work with, and even in terms of our overall objectives. As a result, we do not take advantage of the rich expertise, experiences, ideas and resources that we could each bring to the table.
Our aim at the Motherhood Collective Impact Program (MCIP) is to bring all those who have the power to improve maternal health together within an interconnected ecosystem, to facilitate collaboration and accelerate impact. We are bringing a connecting layer above all existing activities to unify and align them, and eliminate duplication. Now in its fifth year, Safe Motherhood Week (SMW) is a global campaign to make maternal health a priority topic. We created SMW because we saw that in light of current issues with healthcare funding, maternal and neonatal health is frequently streamlined into other topics, and even risks to be completely abandoned as a non-priority topic. The idea was to create an awareness week to show that maternal health challenges persist across geographies and cultures, and to bring together and highlight maternal health champions such as Deliver for Good who are fighting to make a change.
The Safe Motherhood Week (SMW) 2019 theme this year is Accessibility to Quality Maternal Care & Safe Medication for a Positive Pregnancy Experience. This year we are aiming to connect parents, organisations and initiatives working on this issue so that all women worldwide can have better access to safe medicines, accurate information on their use, and access high-quality care, no matter their background, pre-existing condition or level of education. We have several exciting activities planned during SMW 2019, and we need YOU to help us make as much noise as possible! See below for some highlights and how you can get involved.
Needs-Led Innovation to Improve Health Systems in Senegal
In collaboration with Sanofi Espoir Foundation and Saegus, during SMW 2019 we will run a workshop on Maternal Health with a focus in Senegal, with discussions on Social Entrepreneurship and Needs-Led Innovation methodologies. This practical workshop, which will take place on October 17 in Brussels, will welcome different local and global partners to participate in a unique interactive session to eventually build systemic, long-lasting and people-centered positive impacts on maternal and neonatal health, starting in Senegal. We will use opportunity landscaping techniques to move from theoretical frameworks to practical solutions that can be shaped and tested in the field starting in November in Senegal. If you are interested in attending, please contact us here.
Understanding the information needs of women during pregnancy and breastfeeding
Medication use during pregnancy is lacking proper data and approximately 90% of pregnant women take medicine without knowing the consequences. IMI ConcePTION is an EU-funded collaborative project that aims to tackle the information gap in medicine use during pregnancy and breastfeeding across Europe. Taking the opportunity of SMW, we are running a survey poll aimed at women in the general public to understand how they search for information on medicines during pregnancy and breastfeeding. This survey will be followed by a larger study later in 2019 to understand the information needs and preferences of women and healthcare professionals. If you would like to learn more about this project, please contact us here.
Maternal Health Synapse
Following the launch of the Maternal Health Synapse during SMW 2018, we have continued to grow the maternal health network, which now has over 202 users, 237 organisations, 59 initiatives, and 171 resources. Synapse is a unique tool to identify existing maternal and neonatal care initiatives and actors, to bring together people and projects, match solutions to resources, and solve specific needs in an efficient and sustainable way. Joining the Maternal Health Synapse gives you, your initiatives, and your achievements global visibility. Taking the opportunity of SMW 2019, we have just launched a new Events feature that will allow you to share your maternal health event with the entire maternal health community. During SMW 2019 we will be focused on mapping maternal health actors with a global footprint and mapping maternal and neonatal health initiatives in the West Africa region, starting in Senegal. To learn more about Synapse, watch this video. To join Synapse, click here.
Online awareness campaign
This year the online campaign will revolve around the narrative “250 mothers are born every minute and motherhood should not become a fight” while raising awareness about accessibility to quality maternal care and safe medication during pregnancy amongst women, parents and maternal health actors. In addition to raising awareness, the campaign targeting the general public will also invite women to take a survey poll to understand how they search for information on medicines during pregnancy and breastfeeding. We will also be connecting with maternal health actors to invite them to join Synapse so that we can map the maternal health community worldwide.
A comprehensive editorial plan has been put into place with blogs featuring maternal health actors and raising awareness around topics of information, accessibility and R&D for quality maternal care and safe medication during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
We’re already looking ahead to next year and would welcome your participation. If you or your organisation would like to be involved, please contact us here.