We have long known that investing in maternal and child health care means investing in a better future for individuals, families, countries, and the world. In response, the United Nations in 2000 dedicated 3 out of 8 Millennium Development Goals to specifically address issues affecting women and children. These included MDG3, to promote gender equality and empower women; MDG4, to reduce child mortality; and MDG5, to improve maternal health. While the number of women dying during childbirth decreased significantly during the MDG era, maternal death rates are still way too high and concentrated in low- and middle-income countries.
In September 2015, in order to address the MDG’s shortcomings related to maternal and child health care, world leaders alongside the UN General Assembly launched Every Woman Every Child Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (EWEC Global Strategy). This movement focuses on local collaborative efforts and engagement of many different stakeholders to prioritize meeting the needs of some of the most disadvantaged and marginalized women, children, and adolescents. EWEC Global Strategy aims to address many different determinants of health so that this population can not only survive, but also will thrive and go on to transform their local and global community for the better.
The first objective is Survive, aimed at ending preventable deaths. Goals include
Reducing global maternal mortality to less than 70 per 100,000 live births
Reduce newborn mortality to less than 12 per 1000 live births in every country
Reduce under-5 mortality to less than 25 per 1000 live births in every country
The second objective is Thrive, aimed at ensuring health and well-being. Goals include
End all forms of malnutrition and address the nutritional needs of children, adolescent girls, and pregnant and lactating women
Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive healthcare services and rights, including family planning
Achieve universal health coverage
The third objective is Transform, aimed at expanding enabling environments. Goals include
Eradicate extreme poverty
Ensure all girls and boys complete primary and secondary education
Eliminate all harmful practices, discrimination and violence against women and girls
Achieve universal access to safe and affordable drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene
These are ambitious goals, but too important to our future to ignore. Since EWEC Global Strategy was launched, international partners have pledged over 600 commitments and more than $45 billion USD has been contributed to help maternal and child health care. People everywhere are recognizing its importance and in response, stepping up.
Now as a next step, we ask what could be done to lower the costs of the implementation of the E-MOTIVE bundle? The most obvious answer is to consider displacing the tens of thousands of disposable plastic drapes with a purpose-built reusable device.
Fortunately one of the obstetricians involved in the E-MOTIVE study, Dr. Justus Hofmeyr, had been innovating around this very issue, designing a tray with wells that could fit under a woman’s buttocks, collect and accurately measure the. blood. This tray, theMaternaWellTraywas conceived as a device that could be sterilized and reused, and is manufactured in South Africa by Umoya.
The Pumani bubbleCPAP was designed to meet this need for Malawi and is now widely available through Maternova. We had a few questions about post-research phases of the Pumani bubbleCPAP which we posed to Jocelyn Brown, inventor of the Pumani bubbleCPAP, and Molly McCabe, Director of Product Management.