Apr 3, 2010

Gates Foundation Will Increase Aid For Mothers and Newborns!

AUTHOR:Dr Harry Strulovici, MD, MPHSOURCE:http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/thebusinessofgiving/2011482747_melinda_gates_foundation_focus.html

Earlier this week, the ONE foundation (Bono) invited Melinda Gates and Melanne Verveer, the first ever Ambassador-At-Large for Global Women's Issues to discuss where future Gates dollars should be spent. As the Seattle Times noted the Gates Foundation major focus has been on AIDS and Malaria with relatively little given toward maternal and newborn initiatives. However, during the discussion Melinda Gates stated the the foundation would step up funding in these areas. She emphasized how low-cost investments could have huge impacts in developing countries. She referenced a technique know as 'Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC)' which involves mothers holding their newborn babies close to their bodies to increase their temperature. Indeed, this simple method has been found to decrease newborn deaths by half! (http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/39/suppl_1/i144) In addition,  the Gates Foundation will increase funding for family planning as well. This holistic approach to maternal/neonatal/child is what LIFE FOR MOTHERS (LFM) advocates and will implement this strategy in rural Uganda as its first project. We, at LFM recognize that mothers worldwide have been marginalized (particularly in developing countries) and are encouraged by this shift in funding by the Gates Foundation. We also believe that health system strengthening is key to making women's and family health outcomes effective and long-lasting. Lastly, we include a link to an editorial written by THE LANCET that highlighted the need for the Gates Foundation to re-examine their funding strategies in global health (http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(09)60885-0/fulltext).

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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