We are pleased to update you on the recent progress of Merck for Mothers.
Saving Mothers, Giving Life: New maternal health partnership takes off
This summer began on a high note with the announcement of a new $200+ million initiative to prevent women from dying during childbirth. In June, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton officially launched Saving Mothers, Giving Life, a public-private partnership among the U.S. government, the Norwegian government, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Every Mother Counts, and Merck.
Initially, the partnership will target districts in Uganda and Zambia where maternal mortality rates are disproportionately high. Working in close cooperation with national governments, the effort will seek to strengthen country-wide health systems and provide cost-effective interventions to women before, during, and immediately after childbirth. We look forward to working with our partners as we launch our first programs this fall.
London Summit on Family Planning: Merck pledges up to $25m
Merck joined another important effort this summer with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to expand access to family planning, a critical step in helping improve the health of women around the world. The announcement, which was made at the London Summit on Family Planning in July, is part of a new, coordinated effort that will focus on increasing awareness of and education about family planning services among women and girls in resource-limited settings and improving the supply chain for quality family planning resources.
Upcoming events: UN General Assembly Week 2012
At this year's UN General Assembly Merck is excited to join once again with the maternal health community. We will be supporting two sessions focused on core elements of our strategy – product innovation and expanding access to proven solutions – and participating in several other side events. We will also be launching a report – in conjunction with the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation and the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health – on the role of private health providers and local businesses in improving maternal and child health.
Listening and learning: "Findings From the Field"
Through field visits to regions with high rates of maternal mortality, we have gained valuable insights from frontline health workers, NGOs, governments, the local private health sector, and the women most in need. These first-hand experiences continue to inform Merck for Mothers programs. We encourage you to read some of our accounts from these trips in a new series called "Findings From the Field".
Our team: new arrivals
We are pleased to announce the arrival of two new members to the Merck for Mothers team: Dr. Priya Agrawal and Celina Schocken. Dr. Agrawal joins Merck from the Harvard School of Public Health and will serve as Executive Director, overseeing the development and implementation of our strategy, country programs, and evaluation efforts. Ms. Schocken joins us from Population Services International and will serve as Director of External Partnerships, managing our collaboration with the Gates Foundation and leading the Secretariat for Saving Mothers, Giving Life.
Thank you for your continued interest.