As we herald in 2013 we pause for a moment to celebrate some of the big accomplishments for women in 2012. We are particularly interested in large national initiatives occurring AT SCALE rather than small pilot projects.
* Eight countries are on track to meet MDG4 and MDG5 by 2015 and these countries are: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Egypt, Eritrea, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Nepal and Vietnam.
* According to the Countdown to 2015 report, Equatorial Guinea, Nepal, and Vietnam have each cut maternal deaths by 75 percent showing the massive declines are possible.
* In Nigeria an effort called "Saving One Million Lives" was announced to scale up access to essential primary health services and commodities for Nigeria’s women and children. Particularly exciting is the focus on getting [essential commodities into the 'homes and hands' of those who need them](http://www.unicef.org/media/media_66201.html). In addition, as reported on Uganda Health Watch, this is the first time the Nigerian MOH, has committed to a [specific health goal within a specific time period](http://www.nigeriahealthwatch.com/2012/10/saving-1-million-lives-in-nigeria.html). It is a bold, important commitment. Scorecards are provided to each state to measure outcomes.
* In Afghanistan, the Afghan Ministry of Public Health, Jhpiego and others helped to train an additional 3000 midwives (from just 400+ in 2003). The [percentage of women giving birth in health facilities has increased from 19 percent in 2005 to 32.4 percent in 2011](http://www.jhpiego.org/en/content/increase-skilled-midwives-afghanistan-leads-more-women-surviving-childbirth).
* In Uganda, there is a concerted effort to recruit an additional [6000+ health workers including 1000+ midwives](http://wrauganda.blogspot.com/) and as reported by the [Frontline Health Workers Coalition](http://frontlinehealthworkers.org/uganda-increases-number-of-health-workers/).