Sep 1, 2009

Maternal Mortality Campaign Objectives 2010

AUTHOR:The Consensus for Maternal, Newborn and Child HealthSOURCE:http://www.who.int/pmnch/about/en/

In 2009 we reached a critical point in our campaign to stop women and girls dying needlessly in pregnancy and childbirth, and helped lay the groundwork for an accelerated response to maternal and newborn mortality in 2010. MDG5 is no longer the forgotten development goal. There is now unprecedented political momentum and commitment to improving maternal, newborn and child health from both donor and developing country governments and a range of other partners, including key multi-lateral institutions. We have a new global Consensus on the 5 priority actions needed. Many countries have national plans and road-maps. There are some (though not yet enough) new resources available for health systems strengthening, prioritizing women's and children's health. And 2010 will see new funding platforms for health designed to improve the integration and efficiency of health systems in delivering tangible outcomes for women and children.

But the job is not yet done. This year we need:

  • Even greater public awareness and demands for political leadership and action on maternal and newborn mortality.
  • New national and international advocates to champion this issue.
  • A targeted campaign - locally, nationally and internationally - to hold people to account for their promises to act.
  • To convince decision-makers that we won't meet the MDGs if we don't save mothers.

The major focus for our campaign in 2010 is the September MDG Review Summit and the staging posts in the run up to it; including the AU/G20 & G8 Summits and the Women Deliver Conference. We need to work with our supporters to ensure that by September world leaders are ready to adopt a 'Framework for Action on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health', including a strategy, quantifiable interim targets, a work-plan with time-bound commitments from all actors and an accountability mechanism so that we can monitor and fast-track progress to the 2015 deadline.

In 2010 we will initiate and coordinate action by campaign supporters and champions along 4 themes:

  • More resources for maternal, newborn and child health.
  • Making maternal mortality a key indicator of a functioning health system.
  • Training, recruiting and retaining more health workers to address the global gap in skilled care for women and newborns during and after pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Removing barriers to quality health care for women and children.

Building on the momentum and new commitments in 2009 we will keep up pressure on all Governments to deliver on their promise of more resources for maternal, newborn and child health. We will specifically:

  • Build on the work being done by the G8 on an MDG accountability framework and begin to track and report on whether donor financial commitments for health are being met.
  • Join forces with national and regional champions to track and report on the delivery of domestic resources for health.
  • In line with the recommendations of the High Level Task Force press for an increase of at least $10 billion in 2010; including targeting maternal and newborn mortality in investments in health systems and efforts to meet MDG 6.
  • Create space to debate whether the time is right for a Global Health Fund that incorporates comprehensive maternal, newborn and child health within its mandate.
  • Continue to advocate for maternal mortality to be recognized as a key indicator of a functioning health system.
  • Work with donors, multi-lateral institutions, national governments and civil society to ensure that maternal mortality, including the counting of maternal deaths, becomes and remains a key indicator of a functioning health system.
  • Training, recruiting and retaining more health-workers.
  • Work in collaboration with national champions to promote the development, implementation and tracking of costed national health workforce plans, and help promote improvements in the quality of healthcare.
  • Join forces with national champions and health care professional associations to pilot a project to quantify, track and advocate for effective solutions to the human resource gap.
  • Removing barriers to quality health-care.
  • Work in collaboration with partners to remove barriers to quality healthcare, especially for women and children. This will include ongoing campaigning to eliminate user fees and ensure that health services are free for women and children at the point of use, as well as tackling transport barriers and empowering women to make informed decisions related to pregnancy and childbirth.

In 2010 the Maternal Mortality campaign will also:

  • Work with at least 2 national Governments, the Gates Foundation, other foundations and a range of technical advisers to facilitate a project to link the health related MDGs 4, 5 and 6, and roll-out a program built around well trained health workers, kits to provide essential commodities and information at both the facility and community level and checklists to improve the quality of care.
  • Continue to promote the need for a UN Maternal and Newborn Health Envoy to work with, and strengthen, existing networks.
  • Work with partners to explore a marketing campaign for maternal and newborn health products with proven value to reduce mortality and morbidity as part of an integrated package of interventions, and also raise awareness and funds.

Did you know?

In Africa and South Asia, complications during pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death for women of childbearing age.

Source:United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), 2010


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