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Today marked a historic day for women and for the globe as the UK Family Planning Summit wrapped up on London gathering more than $4.3B in pledged funding for family planning. As the twitter streams and #FPchat and #FPSummit can attest, the Summit drew widespread involvement-- and a lot of enthusiasm. A number of key reports were generated taking stock of the family planning landscape in the weeks preceding this Summit. Save the Children produced a report entitled [Every Woman's Right]( They begin with the following statistics: -220 million women have an unmet need for family planning
In the midst of our focus on innovation, we pause to take a moment to recognize and reflect the stark realities faced by midwives in low-resource settings. Some areas have access to basic equipment needs, and are innovating in the technology realm: designing lower cost, solar-powered lights, power and blood banks. But in many places the challenge is making do with an indescribable shortage. Our advisor, Dorcas Kamanda, reminded us that in Sierra Leone she teaches women to take a piece of a plant to tie the umbilical cord because string is simply not available.
Atul Gawande is widely known for his bestselling book called [The Checklist Manifesto]( where he documents the essential role of checklists in ensuring consistency and adherence to evidence based protocols. The Safe Motherhood Community, then, is lucky that his team has turned their attention to safer births in the BetterBirth clinicial trial and collaboration on the WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist.
[The Parenting map]( developed by Project HOPE is like a visual checklist for each child in a household. The checklist was developed as a low-literacy tool for use by volunteer health workers visiting households and assessing the well-being of multiple children. The purpose of the tool is to determine which areas are going well and which areas need improvement. The initial studies in Namibia and Mozambique report that the checklist was well-accepted by caregivers and
At the #HealthFOO unconference this past weekend, one presentation officially blew my mind. For an organization that studies technology, it's important to remember that often simply NOT acting is actually in the patient's interest. For example, one of my first conversations was with Paul Levy, former CEO of Beth Israel Hospital. He told me about a intervention by [Intermountain Health in Utah to reduce the number of c-sections before 39 weeks]( Essentially they put in place a protocol to prevent c-sections before 39 weeks unless absolutely medically necessary, and due to this additional waiting time reduced costs and improved health.
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