Over 2500 people have gathered in London to observe the 20th anniversary of the launching of the Safe Motherhood Initiative at the Women Deliver Conference. While progress has been reported over half a million women still die annually of pregnancy and child birth related causes. In fact there has been little progress in sub-Saharan Africa since 1995 where the maternal mortality rate (MMR) still hovers around 900/100,000. Not coincidentally, this is the region where the threat of malaria in pregnancy (MIP) is highest.
Big disparities and inequities were reported not only between developed and developing countries (the former having a MMR of only 9/100,000), but even between rich and poor women within developing countries. A major concern is the lack of access to quality antenatal and obstetric care. In fact it is challenges in the health care system that make it deliver malaria in pregnancy control services effectively through ANC.
In recognition of the role of malaria in maternal health, the Women Deliver Conference is holding a panel on Malaria in Pregnancy, organized by JHPIEGO. I am moderating the panel and have able input from four colleagues.
- Scott Filler from the US Centers from Disease Control is talking about the importance and efficacy of sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine as the foundation of Intermittent Preventive Treatment
- Kaende Munguti of JHPIEGOâ€™s Kenya office is sharing success stories from Kenya, Tanzania, Burkina Faso and Madagascar in improving the quality of ANC and IPTp coverage
- Lori Jackson of ExxonMobil is discussing the corporate role in promoting womenâ€™s health and sharing experiences from the ExxonMobil supported MIP projects of JHPIEGO in Nigeria and Kenya
- Juliana Yartey of WHO is stressing the importance of integrating MIP control into maternal and reproductive health services as the way to sustain MIP services
- Scott Filler again is explaining the role of the US Presidentâ€™s Malaria Initiative in providing IPTp, ITNs and malaria medicines to support MIP activities in its 15 countries.
Join us on the Women Deliver website to learn how to ensure that safe motherhood will become the reality promised in the Millennium Development Goals before 2015.