“Women are the next emerging market” Hon. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance stated during the The Role of Private Providers in Expanding Access to Affordable, Quality Maternal Healthcare panel discussion. She went on to share her own story of childbirth in England, counting herself among the lucky ones compared to what she has witnessed in her country of Nigeria. Her personal motivation for committing so fully to meeting the goal, serves as both inspiration and advice that women are a “force to reckon with”.
In the race to stabilize and fortify the female population’s inherent ‘lesser than’ lot in life, global leaders shared their vision for innovative solutions in meeting the fifth Millennium Development Goal as set forth by the United Nations. But is this goal realistic in timeline and scope? Can maternal and newborn deaths be prevented? Yes, according to the esteemed panel.
The role and expansion of private providers in stemming the tide of needless mortalities may be a key to preventing exacerbation of the problem. With more funding being directed towards activating this overlooked population of trained caregivers, social franchises are being established worldwide, supported by international powerhouses like Population Services International (PSI) and The Merck Foundation’s Merck for Mothers.
Karl Hoffman, President and CEO of PSI was optimistic in sharing his group’s efforts related to private practitioners. In Kenya, a network of 300 providers operating under a common brand has shown early signs of success. By allowing for quality products, and a powerful channel for distribution, PSI manages these networks by performing internal Q/A and coaching for members. In looking to increase the volume of medical care options for people who find themselves with the ‘3 hour walk’ perimeter for care, more lives can be saved.
The premise of this proposal is quite simple. Increase access to care, along with the number of services provided. Set forth strict quality standards for products and practitioners. This is hardly a new ground-breaking idea, so what is the holdup you ask? Distribution and timing. Countries like Nigeria received their first supply of childhood vaccines in twenty years this year. Two decades had passed before an error in the request process was uncovered. Other stories from the panel involve persons who sought to benefit financially by imposing additional fees for transit or procurement. While it is human nature to help those in need, it is also some human’s nature to take advantage of fragile populations. This tug-o-war has stalled the meeting of this goal and many others for decades.
Other issues involve frustrations shared by midwifes who often practice their craft isolated in the field. Depersonalization, scarce supplies, and slow moving industry information have taken their toll on even the most committed caregiver. The Maternova team is working day and night to create what will be a brand new offering, and solution for our global midwife friends. Contact us TODAY to see how your group can be part of it.
The Maternova team was delighted to be asked to participate in the events in NY for U.N. General Assembly Week. We met some exceptional people, who collectively can change the world for women and children. Because her minutes at the podium were so inspiring, this blog will end with one more gem from the Nigerian Minister of Finance “Invest in women and move the world forward”. We couldn't agree more.
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