The Kenneth C. Frazier Award for Maternal Health Equity

Though maternal mortality has declined globally over the past decade, there are many communities around the world that continue to be disproportionately affected. In many countries, unacceptable and inequitable maternal health outcomes persist. A long history of structural discrimination and unequal access to health care, as well as the underlying social determinants of health, are some of the key factors that contribute to these inequities.

Around the world, visionary leaders and community-based organizations are creating a path to a better world where maternal health outcomes are more equitable, and pregnancy and childbirth are safer. They are helping to create a world where prenatal visits, labor and delivery and postpartum encounters for the first year after childbirth contribute to healthier maternal health outcomes.

In 2021, for Mothers, ’s $650 million global initiative to help create a world where no woman has to die while giving life, launched the Kenneth C. Frazier Award for Maternal Health Equity. This annual award was created in recognition of the legacy and commitment to maternal health by Kenneth C. Frazier, executive chairman of the board and former chief executive officer, . Every year, the grant award is bestowed upon one organization in recognition of its commitment to and progress toward more equitable, high-quality maternal health care.

2022 Call for Nominations

for Mothers is looking forward to marking the second year of this important initiative and to supporting a new organization who shares the mission of helping to create a world where no woman has to die while giving life.

The 2022 call for nominations for the Kenneth C. Frazier Award for Maternal Health Equity is now closed. Sign up for our newsletter to be among the first to know the 2022 recipient of the award and other Merck for Mothers updates.

Past Award Recipients

2021 - Sinergias

The inaugural recipient of the Kenneth C. Frazier Award for Maternal Health Equity was Sinergias, a nongovernmental organization in Colombia that aims to improve access to respectful, high-quality and culturally relevant maternal health care services that center women as key actors in their communities’ health systems. Working in the most hard-to-reach areas of the country, Sinergias co-creates solutions with indigenous and rural communities to address inequities in maternal health outcomes.

“Winning this award is a great honor for us, but above all, it is a recognition and a wake-up call to the importance of working with people to adapt health care services in marginalized and diverse communities. Likewise, this recognition is highlighting the need to improve access to quality services by strengthening local capacities to improve health in a sustainable way,” said Pablo Montoya, General Director of Sinergias.