I am pleased to share the first installment of a new series of letters to update you on Merck for Mothers – what we’re doing, what we’ve learned and how we are applying our resources and expertise to save women’s lives.
So far this year, we’ve been active in the post-2015 planning discussions, particularly related to the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health. As many of you know, this year represents a critical milestone for the maternal health community: with the Millennium Development Goals expiring, it is time to reflect on our collective accomplishments in reducing maternal mortality, assess outstanding gaps and revitalize commitments to improve the health of women and girls around the world. I’ve been honored to be part of the discussions about how we can keep women and girls at the heart of the Sustainable Development Agenda and, specifically, how we can continue to tap the unique capabilities of companies like Merck in our effort.
As we reach the final stretch of the MDGs, we know we have an important role to play in concert with the many dedicated organizations and healthcare workers on the frontlines striving to improve maternal health. This means we must be forthcoming about progress, honest about setbacks and open to learning from all of you about what it takes to ensure that women receive the care they need for a healthy pregnancy and a safe childbirth.
So for this inaugural letter, we would like to highlight key lessons Merck for Mothers has learned from our work in Uganda and India, where we’ve joined with partners to strengthen private maternal healthcare – a somewhat unconventional approach but one we believe could be part of the solution to making preventable maternal mortality an issue of the past.
Dr. Naveen Rao
Lead, Merck for Mothers