The Global Maternal and Newborn Health Conference held last week in Mexico City was an action-packed three days of presentations and conversations about state-of-the-art strategies to improve maternal and newborn health. Throughout it all, the following key themes stood out as critical for the post-2015 development agenda, particularly in the context of pursuing universal health coverage (UHC). Optimize health systems.
Nearly three years ago, I blogged about a systems approach to improving access for a Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) series on maternal health commodities: Increasing access to essential medicines and supplies for maternal health requires a systems approach that includes: improving governance of pharmaceutical systems, strengthening supply chain management, increasing the availability of information for decision-making, developing appropriate financing strategies and promoting rational use of medicines and supplies. It was an exciting year for maternal health.
Expanding access to essential maternal health medicines saves mothers’ lives. Access to life-saving maternal medicines requires an effective supply chain that delivers the right medicines to the right people at the right times. In many countries, weak pharmaceutical management systems are unable to meet the challenges of providing access to these essential medicines.
Crossposted on Maternal Health Taskforce's mhtfblog as part of the Maternal Health Commodities Blog Series.Despite a decade of significant progress reducing maternal mortality rates, very few countries are on target to meet Millennium Development Goal #5a of reducing the maternal mortality ratio by three-quarters by 2015.What is most alarming is that a large proportion of maternal deaths could have been avoided if women had access to adequate health services, where the necessary quality medicines and supplies were available and skilled health providers were present.