Maternal health is sometimes regarded as a distant cousin of reproductive health and family planning, yet its importance cannot be overstated. Every day, 830 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth, and 99 percent of all maternal deaths occur in developing countries.
A historic merger this month will go a long way in ensuring that maternal health supplies, or MHS, remain firmly in the global spotlight. Two prominent MHS working groups have joined forces under the auspices of the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition. The UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children was formed in 2012 with eight expert groups or Technical Resource Teams (TRTs) and is now coming to the end of its mandate. The Maternal Health TRT (MH TRT) has focused on oxytocin, misoprostol and magnesium sulphate, supporting countries in their efforts to increase access to these lifesaving commodities. The MH TRT is now set to join the Coalition’s own Maternal Health Caucus with new terms of reference, and a proposed joint leadership team comprising Beth Yeager (Management Sciences for Health), Debbie Armbruster (USAID) and Kabir Ahmed (UNFPA) in order to continue working on the MHS agenda and build on the accomplishments of the MHS TRT.
The merger heralds a new phase of work which could include new commodities such as anti-hypertensives, blood pressure cuffs to address pre-eclampsia and eclampsia, among others. For more information, please contact Milka Dinev at firstname.lastname@example.org.