We know it's tough to keep track of all the different maternal and children's health foundations, coalitions, and initiatives, with tons out there and more cropping up every day. Each large scale partnership or initiative fills a niche, seeking to reduce maternal mortality through slightly different means. Maternova has put together a cheat-sheet on these newer campaigns and initiatives.
This list isn't exhaustive--if you've got some suggestions for us to add, just let us know!
“The 1,000 days from the start of a woman’s pregnancy until her child’s 2nd birthday offer a unique window of opportunity to shape healthier and more prosperous futures,” explains the 1,000 Days partnership. Improving nutrition in this time period can have an immense impact on the health of a child, and the self-described “advocacy hub” cultivates relationships with business, government, and other communities throughout the US to combat maternal and child undernutrition around the globe. It has focused its energies on the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement, which has brought together international partners in a concerted effort to reduce undernourished mothers and babies specifically in the 1,000 days between September 2010 and June 2013.
Campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA)
CARMMA is an initiative developed between the African Union Commission (AUC) and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) targeted at extending the reach of the Maputo Plan of Action on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. CARMMA was launched in May 2009 and is currently being implemented in 36 countries--click here for countries and their scorecards--with 6 more preparing to launch the plan in the near future. CARMMA focuses on female empowerment through politics and infrastructure by “mobilizing the necessary political will to make the lives of women count, coordinating and harmonizing interventions around country-led plans/roadmaps and supporting ongoing efforts and initiatives to improve maternal, newborn and child health.”
Countdown to 2015: Maternal, Newborn, & Child Survival
Countdown to 2015 is a program focused on evaluating the breadth and success of programs targeted at reaching MDGs 4 and 5. The collaboration incorporates government, health care, and academic organizations--The Lancet chief among them--in collecting and analyzing country-specific data in “the 75 countries where more than 95% of all maternal and child deaths occur, including the 49 lowest-income countries.” Countdown focuses specifically on “coverage,” which it defines as “the proportion of individuals needing a health service or intervention who actually receive it,” and on how equitably this coverage is distributed across demographic groups. Countdown for 2015’s strong analytical role in the MCH world solidified in 2011, when it stepped up to lead the Commission for Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health.
Every Mother Counts
Founded in 2010 by former model Christy Turlington, Every Mother Counts strives to reach MCH-focused Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 by reducing the impact of the 5 barriers to care. EMC is partnered with myriad organizations to raise awareness and “informs, engages, and mobilizes new audiences to take action to improve the health and well-being of girls and women worldwide.”
Every Woman Every Child
Every Woman Every Child was launched in September 2010 at the UN Millennium Development Goals Summit with the goal of saving the lives of 16 million women and children by 2015. The wide-scale effort involves governments, civil society, and multilateral organizations on national and international levels in partnership to implement the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, which “presents a roadmap on how to enhance financing, strengthen policy, and improve service on the ground for the most vulnerable women and children.”
Half the Sky Movement
The Half the Sky Movement aims to take action against the problem of oppression of women worldwide, elucidated in the groundbreaking book of the same name by journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. The organization’s goal is to “Turn Oppression into Opportunity” of all kinds by educating across myriad platforms, raising awareness of women’s issues, and generating concrete tools and processes to empower women against problems of inequality. Half the Sky is not maternal health-centric, rather it aims to fight oppression within social, economic, as well as health spheres.
Life for African Mothers
Based in Wales, Life for African Mothers is a charity focused on improving maternal health in Africa. The organization works to collect funds to send supplies as well as doctors and midwives to sub-Saharan Africa to volunteer their services. The charity works in countries across the western coast of Africa, as well as in Rwanda, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and Tanzania.
MamaYe is an initiative begun by Evidence for Action, a campaign focused on improving maternal and newborn health in sub-Saharan Africa. The program works in Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Ethiopia, is backed by the UK Department for International Development, and maintains a focus on sexual and reproductive health.
Maternal Health Task Force
The Maternal Health Task Force stands at the forefront of the Women’s and Children’s Initiative at the Harvard School of Public Health. The MHTF focuses primarily on research, education, and communication, continually gathering evidence on and rethinking the efficacy of maternal health initiatives as well as educating professionals in the field. The Task Force currently works in resource-struggling regions in Africa and beyond, with bases in Ethiopia, India, Mexico, Nigeria, and Tanzania.
Merck for Mothers
Merck aims to reduce maternal mortality by targeting its two leading causes worldwide: post-partum hemorrhage and preeclampsia. Through three main pillars--product innovation, supporting programs that expand access, and joining advocacy and awareness campaigns-- Merck for Mothers takes on maternal mortality with a technical approach.
Million Moms Challenge
The Million Moms Challenge is a campaign to recruit one million Americans to support efforts to improve “access to proper nutrition to support healthy pregnancies, trained midwives to assist in safe deliveries, and vaccines that enable children to survive to their first birthdays and beyond.” Million Moms partners with other established MCH and public health organizations to help bring awareness and aid to mothers and babies around the world.
Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health (PMNCH)
PMNCH is a joint alliance comprised of more than 500 members that brings together reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health (RMNCH) communities. The branch serves as a platform linked to the WHO that brings together its constituent organizations to work toward its three strategic objectives: “broker[ing] knowledge and innovation for action”; “advocat[ing] to mobilize and align resources”; “promot[ing] accountability for results.”
Saving Mothers, Giving Life
This five-year effort led by USAID other US health agencies works to reduce the danger of death for mother and child by focusing specifically on labor, delivery, and the first 24 hours after birth. The program began with this focus on the most vulnerable period for mother and child by concentrating its efforts on some of the most vulnerable regions in Africa: Uganda and Zambia, which both experience some of the highest rates of maternal death in the world.
White Ribbon Alliance
The White Ribbon Alliance works across 150 countries, with National Alliances in 16 of them working to address maternal health issues specific to those regions. The Alliances’s objectives include holding governments accountable for improving maternal health, coordinating better support for health workers and the care they provide women, establishing a standard for Respectful Maternal Care, and promote rights for women and girls.
Women Deliver’s motto is “Invest in Women--It Pays!”, a theme which emphasizes how devoting money and resources to women’s and children’s health and education improves society as a whole. The organization focuses on gathering political commitment and financial investment to help meet MDG 5, bringing together “education, health, development, equity, human rights, poverty reduction, and micro-finance” sectors in mobilizing funds and directing them to women-oriented health initiatives.
What are we missing? The maternal health landscape is rapidly changing and we're eager to help you stay abreast of key initiatives. Let us know in the comment section or find us on Twitter, @maternova!
By: Lizi Jones & Meg Wirth