2nd Quarter 2013
Merck for Mothers Announces Innovative Partnerships in India
Merck for Mothers launched new efforts to reduce maternal mortality in India, committing nearly $10 million to partnerships with leading nonprofits aimed at improving the delivery of maternal health services among poor and hard-to-reach women. These programs are taking a unique approach that explores the potential of local private providers and health businesses to improve the affordability, accessibility, and quality of private maternal health services. For example, we are excited about the development of a free phone-based service – much like “Yelp” for health – that allows women to rate the quality of services they receive, thus holding health providers accountable for delivering quality care. We expect to reach nearly 500,000 pregnant women across Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Jharkhand—states with high rates of maternal deaths in India.
Celebrating Progress: Saving Mothers One-Year Anniversary
June 14, 2013 marked one year since former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the launch of Saving Mothers, Giving Life. We are proud to report that recent data from the CDC and Columbia University show Saving Mothers, Giving Life has made excellent progress in a short period of time. In both Uganda and Zambia, significantly more women are delivering in safe health facilities and accessing vital obstetric services like antenatal care visits and emergency care.
As Saving Mothers, Giving Life enters its second year, the partnership is refining programs for scale-up in Uganda and Zambia, as well as expansion into other sub-Saharan African countries. Saving Mothers, Giving Life is also engaging new partners whose expertise will complement the mission to save women’s lives during the critical period of labor, delivery, and the 24 hours postpartum.
Joining the Conversation at Women Deliver 2013
Merck for Mothers was an active participant in the landmark triennial Women Deliver conference, held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We hosted a panel discussion entitled “Getting Down to Business: The Role of the Private Sector in Delivering Affordable, Quality Maternal Health Care” as well as a reception to honor the one-year anniversary of Saving Mothers, Giving Life. Merck for Mothers’ Lead Dr. Naveen Rao also spoke during a lunchtime plenary session called “Closing the Gap on MDG 5.” Congratulations to our friends at Women Deliver for an inspiring and informative week of activities!
Elevating Maternal Mortality at "Women in the World"
Merck for Mothers was a proud supporter of the Newsweek and Daily Beast "Women in the World Summit", held in April. Merck Vaccines President Dr. Julie Gerberding participated in a panel that highlighted different approaches to saving mothers’ lives around the world, underscoring why the global community should do more to reduce maternal mortality: “It’s tragic to not know what to do, but even more tragic to not do what we know.”
Merck for Mothers Leaders in the News
In honor of Mother’s Day, Merck Senior Vice President for Global Public Policy & Corporate Responsibility Geralyn Ritter and ChildFund International CEO Anne Lynam Goddard co-authored a column in the Richmond Times Dispatch that highlighted the work to be done to ensure mothers all over the world have safe pregnancies and deliveries.
At the 2013 GBCHealth Conference, Merck for Mothers Executive Director Dr. Priya Agrawal participated in the session, “New Technologies for Maternal Health” and was interviewed on private sector contributions to global health.
Thank you for your continued interest in Merck for Mothers. We look forward to updating you on our progress throughout the year!