We are delighted to update you on recent progress of Merck for Mothers.
Global Partnership in Africa
Last month, we entered into a new public-private partnership called Saving Mothers, Giving Life with the U.S. Government, the Government of Norway, Every Mother Counts, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Saving Mothers, Giving Life aims to dramatically reduce the number of maternal deaths in sub-Saharan Africa. This unique alliance – under the leadership and coordination of the Global Health Initiative which brings together the key implementing agencies of the U.S. Government, including PEPFAR, USAID, and CDC – is beginning in select regions in Uganda and Zambia, where maternal death rates are disproportionately high. The initiative is a five-year effort focused on the critical period during labor, delivery, and the first 24 hours postpartum – when most deaths occur.
Unlocking the Potential of Private Health Care
The use of private health care services is growing across all income levels in many countries with a high burden of maternal mortality, and has great potential to help these countries get closer to their targets for United Nations Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5. Merck for Mothers is exploring a focus in this area, and we will be issuing a report on the topic later this spring in cooperation with the Norwegian Agency for International Development Cooperation on behalf of the Every Woman, Every Child Innovation Working Group, the global initiative launched in 2010 by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The report, Fostering Healthy Businesses: Delivering Innovations in Maternal and Child Health, recommends changes in policy and financing to enable private health providers and businesses to serve the most vulnerable women and children without relying on long-term donor support.
In Uganda, at Women Deliver's Regional Consultation, Geralyn Ritter, Merck's lead for Global Public Policy and the President of the Merck Company Foundation, recently participated in a dynamic panel discussion on new approaches that are strengthening private health care in sub-Saharan Africa.
Maternal Mortality in the U.S.
At the recent Health Disparities Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., Merck for Mothers had the opportunity to call attention to the problem of maternal mortality and morbidity in the U.S., highlighting the shocking fact that African American women are 3 to 4 times more likely to die from pregnancy- and childbirth-related complications than Caucasian women. Addressing health disparities in maternal health will be an important component of Merck for Mothers' U.S. program. The presentation is available in our newsroom.
Merck for Mothers Website
We are continuing to update our website and encourage you to view new videos that are part of our Insights on Maternal Health series.
Merck for Mothers Celebrates Mother's Day
Thank you for your continued interest in Merck for Mothers.