A New View of Grant Resources

first_imgA truly sustainable funding model is the holy grail of nonprofits. A great way to achieve that goal is by making sure you have a diversified revenue stream that includes individual donations, fees for service, and grant funding. A healthy organization can stack up these funding sources for a strong foundation that supports their mission. Grant seekers ask us for lots of advice, so we chatted with Cynthia Adams, president and CEO of GrantStation and a longtime friend of Network for Good, about a new way of approaching grant funding, including a recently launched resource called the PathFinder.NFG: Cynthia, what have you found to be the biggest hurdle for nonprofits looking to secure grants?Cynthia Adams: Actually, there are three significant hurdles. First you have to thoroughly identify what you need the funding for, which isn’t as simple as it sounds! Second, you have to identify the right grant makers to approach for the funding. And third, you need the skills to develop and write compelling grant requests.Most organizations are familiar with the tried-and-true grant makers, but what are some overlooked sources of grant funding?CA: I am very fond of looking outside the box when identifying potential funders for a project. For example, I like to look at national and international associations. These groups, especially those associations representing companies that manufacture goods, can often be fabulous sources of support. The Toy Industry Association offers literally thousands of donated toys via the Toy Industry Foundation.What do you recommend to organizations that don’t have someone on staff who can take on researching, applying for, and managing grants? Does this require a full-time person?CA: It depends on the size of the organization and the number of grant proposals you expect to submit. At GrantStation, we’ve just launched a new free resource called the PathFinder. It includes tons of resources in a searchable database to help everyone from novices to the most experienced individual in the areas of grant research, grant writing, and grant management.We talk a lot about storytelling and reporting on impact for individual donors. Where does this fit in with grant funding?CA: Storytelling is an integral part of the grant-writing process. You want to engage the person reviewing your proposal right off the bat, so opening your request with a true-life story is a great way to do that. I often include a case study or “story” in the statement of need as well.What’s the smartest way for fundraisers to combine grant funding with making the most of gifts from individual donors?CA: I had this rule of thumb when I was working as a development director for nonprofits: I would use any significant gift from an individual to leverage any grant proposal I was working on. So, if someone came by and made a $1,000 gift, and I was working on a proposal to upgrade all the office equipment, website, etc., I would ask that donor if I could use their gift to help leverage the grant. It worked for me!Thank you so much, Cynthia, for sharing your insights on new ways to approach grant funding. For more help with expanding your funding base with grants, download our archived webinar with Cynthia Adams, Getting Started with Grants: How to Make Your Requests Shine.last_img read more

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#GivingTuesday Success with a Staff of One: Q&A with CASS

first_imgWhat surprised you the most about #GivingTuesday? Because I experience and witness street harassment in Washington, DC, I can see the immediate importance of CASS’ mission. CASS mobilizes the community, through online and offline activism, to end public sexual harassment and assault in the DC metropolitan area. The campaign caught my eye and I was inspired to donate to it on #GivingTuesday. After I became a donor, I was delighted to receive some of the best post-donation communication ever! CASS has become one of my favorite nonprofit customers that we serve in DC. Thank you, Zosia, for sharing these details with us! If you want to put on a great #GivingTuesday campaign in 2015, we can help. Sign up to get Network for Good’s #GivingTuesday resources sent directly to your inbox. ZS: We started reaching out to donors four weeks in advance with soft touches via email. A week or two before, we gave all of them a call and asked folks to pledge. During the campaign, we reached out via email and social media. Afterward, everyone who donated received a special thank you email and a handwritten card. Zosia Sztykowski: We set a very ambitious goal for our end-of year-campaign—triple what we had done in the previous year—and based on our experience, we knew we’d have to get a strong start on #GivingTuesday for that to work. #GivingTuesday and New Year’s Eve are always the best giving days for us. Last year, Network for Good customer Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS) had a great #GivingTuesday campaign and won our prize for Best Social Campaign. The organization raised more than $17,000, came in fourth on our leaderboard for number of donors, and exceeded its original goal by 43%. ZS: We’re planning to reach out to more big donors way in advance to build a lot of momentum for #GivingTuesday. ZS: Yup, just one—me! Needless to say, I had some pretty serious tunnel vision going in late November/early December. But our volunteers are one of our strongest assets. They get the word out and solicit people in their networks. Every time we run a campaign like this, we don’t just reach multiples of our dollar goal, we also multiply the length our donor list, and I think this is directly attributable to our grassroots strategy. If a volunteer team is well organized and engaged—trained, prepared with all the materials they need, and knowledgeable about the organization and its fiscal needs—then they will follow through. Better yet, they’ll make it fun. It’s really about starting a conversation with volunteers that continues throughout the process. Because CASS had such great success on #GivingTuesday 2014, I wanted to do a Q&A with Zosia Sztykowski, the nonprofit’s executive director, to find out how they put together an amazing campaign with just one paid staff member.center_img How did you plan and set goals? ZS: Plan, plan, plan. Read about others’ successful strategies. Get your emails and your social media materials ready well in advance. Know that you’ll need all hands on deck on #GivingTuesday. Have a schedule—but be prepared to throw it out the window if you come up with a better idea at the last minute. How did you manage it all with very few paid staff members? CASS only has one paid staff member, right? And how did you make sure volunteers followed through with their commitments to help make it great? What is the number one piece of advice you would give to nonprofits doing #GivingTuesday for the first time? What will you differently this year? ZS: It’s amazing how generous everyone is even when every other organization is asking for donations at the same time. There’s something very touching about that. It really is a day about giving in the broad sense of the word. In 2014, we managed to quadruple what we raised in 2013 on #GivingTuesday because of this generosity. How did you reach out to donors before, during, and after?last_img read more

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Rev Up Your Data with Dashboards

first_imgCurrent status dashboard: Answers the question, “What’s our current status?” If you’re working on a capital campaign or have a specific target for your fall appeal, your dashboard can show your progress by date and the trajectory of where you need to be so your team doesn’t get complacent. For example, they’ll quickly see that they’ve raised $10,000 and have just three weeks to raise another $10,000. With this knowledge, the conversation at the staff or board meeting might revolve around “What action will we take?”Image Source: Mashable Blog: Is Give2ogether a Google Analytics for Philanthropy.Accountability dashboard: This one might feel scary! Let’s say you want at least 80% of your board members attending board meetings. Your accountability dashboard shows names, dates, and who attended. It gives you some one-on-one discussion points without making everyone feel bad: “Hey, Lynn, how can we support you? What’s keeping you from attending, because your board seat is really important and we want to make sure you’re able to do your duties as a board member.”Now that you know the value of dashboards for presenting important data quickly and sparking people to take action, why not try creating one that’s relevant to your organization’s numbers? For more in-depth guidance, examples, and useful resources, download a recording of the webinar for free.If you don’t have the ability to collect data to make a dashboard worthwhile, we can help! Do your hear crickets when you ask for help with donor engagement tasks, cultivation, or thank you calls? Are eyes glazing over when your board and staff review spreadsheets and donor lists? Fear not, there is hope!In our Nonprofit 911 webinar Change Your Data Story, Lori Jacobwith, president and co-founder of Ignited Fundraising and co-author of the Essential Fundraising Handbook for Small Nonprofits, shared how you can transform otherwise dull data into attractive and easy-to-understand dashboards that inspire everyone to action.What’s a Data Dashboard?The dashboard in your car gives you an at-a-glance update on some really important factors, like if you should slow down or stop for gas. Similarly, a data dashboard shows the important information your organization needs to know to achieve its strategic goals. The data should be arranged on a single screen so the information can be monitored as easily as the dashboard in your car.Data dashboards often show financials or various kinds of giving information, presented by day or month, year over year, zip code, and so on. Less common are board dashboards, but you’re likely to see a big jump in board engagement when you share data visually with this group.Why Use Dashboards?Good visual displays cause people to take action. Data dashboards:Bring attention to your priorities and help you reach your goals.Monitor performance and create accountability.Simplify information, such as complex financials.Fact: Humans are visually wired. Half of our brain is involved with visual processing. We remember 80% of what we see, 20% of what we read, and 10% of what we hear. Color increases our willingness to read something. In social media, for example, you know images are everything. The same is true when we present lots of numbers.You have just two goals when presenting any kind of data:Convey your story.Establish credibility.Some stories you might convey with data: Are we tracking adequately toward our goal? Do we need to fill our fundraising event with more people? Can we improve attendance at our board meetings? Dashboards drive these messages home quicker and more effectively than columns of numbers.Tip: Visual data displays should show information over time, not just year to date.3 Types of Nonprofit DashboardsThe varieties are endless, but here are a few dashboards to get you started.Business intelligence dashboard: Presents facts about your organization. The Indianapolis Museum of Art’s website features a live dashboard showing current totals of Facebook fans, endowment size, and active memberships. “Today’s Attendance” brings up a live tally of how many people passed through the main entrance, gift shop, special exhibitions gallery every two hours.Source: http://www.imamuseum.orglast_img read more

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Goodbye Spreadsheets: A Donor Management Software Success Story

first_imgFounded in 2005, Ovarian Cancer Connection (OCC) is no stranger to fundraising success during its 11-year history. In fact, this Ohio-based nonprofit has raised $36,000 just for their program that provides financial assistance to women undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer.This fundraising success, however, came with its own challenges. Without the right tools in place, the OCC’s system for tracking donors and donations ended up being a lot of manual work.Gini Steinke, OCC’s founder and executive director, knew that there was a better way to track OCC’s donor data. Gini decided getting a new database, known as donor management software or a donor management system (DMS), would help the OCC get all their donor data in one location. After exploring different options, OCC migrated their donor data from spreadsheets into Network for Good’s donor management system.Gini recently shared how she manages OCC’s donor information and fundraising now that they have a system better equipped to get the job done.Tracking Individual FundraisingLike many small nonprofits, the OCC raises most of their funds through individual gifts. These donations either come in through events or donations from individuals who have a personal connection with organization. Currently, the OCC has more than 3,000 donors in their database.Before Network for Good’s DMS, the OCC’s donor database was a detailed spreadsheet with tabs representing each year’s gifts. Although it’s not ideal, this system for tracking gifts is pretty standard among many nonprofits. Network for Good’s donor management system brings it all together. The primary problem with this practice is that a spreadsheet isn’t ideal for accessing donor information. If Gini was looking for a specific donor, she’d have to search through multiple tabs to find the donor’s complete giving history over the course of his or her relationship with the organization. According to Gini, transitioning to a system built to manage donor information has made this process much easier:“We did track donations through spreadsheets, but I’d have to go through all the tabs to find a donation. But now, Network for Good’s donor management system brings it all together.“Transforming Online Giving Gini estimates that she saves about 2 hours of work a day by using Network for Good’s donor management software. The Ovarian Cancer Connection has an incredible mission and is fortunate to have a savvy executive director like Gini who has created fundraising strategies that work. Gini estimates that she saves about 2 hours of work a day by using Network for Good’s donor management software. And during events season, she estimates she’ll save 3 hours of manual work every day.Now that they have the tools to help save time, keep donor records organized, and raise more money, the Ovarian Cancer Connection can focus what matters most: their mission.Are you ready to make the switch from spreadsheets to a donor management system that will save you time and help you streamline your fundraising processes? Schedule a demo and see Network for Good’s donor management software for yourself! Our easy-to-use system that’s helping organizations like Ovarian Cancer Connection save time everyday can help your organization too. Schedule a demo today!center_img I went into the donor management system and the online donation was right there. Everything was already entered. It was like a miracle! It was wonderful! Before using Network for Good’s online donation page and donor management software, OCC was collecting online gifts through PayPal, which made tracking a very cumbersome process:“Donations would come in through PayPal. We’d get an email notification and transfer the money to our bank. Then, I’d input the donation in QuickBooks and enter it into a spreadsheet. It was time consuming to make sure everything was recorded accurately.” Now, online donations are automatically added to OCC’s DMS. Using Network for Good’s donation page and donor management system together means there’s no manual lift required:“I went into the donor management system and the online donation was right there. Everything was already entered. It was like a miracle! It was wonderful!”Gini is especially excited to use the donor management system and donation pages during the organization’s big events.“This is going to be great when it comes time for our major events! More and more people are getting comfortable with online giving. This is great because it makes it easier for [donors] and it saves us money.”Managing Offline GiftsDonor management software isn’t just for tracking online donors, it can track offline gifts too. If Gini gets a check handed to her at an event, she can easily log the donation in the DMS and track specifics like the gift’s designation or if the gift is made in someone’s honor or memory.  Notes on why the donor gave can be attached to a donation too.Making Segmentation EasierSmart fundraisers like Gini use segmentation to send more relevant (and more effective) messages to different groups of supporters.And, because of the nature of their work, they need to be especially diligent with keeping track of those supporters who are survivors of ovarian cancer.Using the group feature in Network for Good’s donor management system allows the OCC to track survivors easily. When Gini is inviting survivors to a luncheon, she can seamlessly send the email through the system by simply selecting the group labeled “Survivors.” There’s no need to sort through a list, run a filter again, or import/export a spreadsheet.Ovarian Cancer Connection’s executive director saves 2-3 hours of work a day after switching from Excel to Network for Good’s donor management software.Keeping Track of Donor NotesGini truly understands that fundraising is about relationships, not transactions. For this reason, Gini needs to keep notes on every donor she speaks with. But with thousands of donors, details about important donor conversations can’t be kept organized with post-it notes or in someone’s memory. This is why Network for Good’s donor management system’s notes feature is so important to the OCC and Gini in particular:“In the donor management software, I can pull up the [donor’s] records and see my notes so the next time I talk to them, I can ask them ‘how was your son’s move?’ Otherwise, it would be in a paper file. But now, everything is right there in the donor record.”Reporting Success to the Board Network for Good’s donor management system offers built-in dashboards that are easy to understand and can help people like Gini explain the organization’s financials to those who aren’t digging into the numbers on a regular basis:“At board meetings, I plan to give a snapshot of our fundraising efforts so far. The dashboard clearly explains to everyone, especially to those without a finance background, the most important information:  average donation and giving to date. I think our Board will be surprised with what our average donation really is!”Saving Time by Getting Out of Spreadsheetslast_img read more

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Lack of Public Trust in Charities and What to Do About It

first_img Since 2002, donors increasingly believe that charitable organizations “waste” money—on staff salaries, fundraising expenses, or other core costs considered administrative or not directly benefiting programs. Furthermore, nearly half of those polled were mostly concerned about how organizations use their money. This was also the top concern in the Money for Good study released last year. Since 2002, donors increasingly believe that charitable organizations “waste” money—on staff salaries, fundraising expenses, or other core costs considered administrative or not directly benefiting programs. You know what comes next: Donors favor organizations with low administrative and fundraising costs. In fact, 54% of donors like charities that get good ratings by validators like Charity Navigator or the Better Business Bureau, which seem to reward the “lean and mean” organizations. And now we are squarely back in the thick of the Overhead Myth.Quite a bit has been written and discussed about the Overhead Myth and the charity “watchdogs” or validators, so I won’t add to that debate here. Without a doubt, the measure of nonprofit performance has gotten stuck on financials. This is only one part of the story of an organization’s effectiveness. Nonprofits that have the resources to invest in talent, systems, and infrastructure are more likely to be successful, which is directly seen in their programs’ impact and results.So, if we know donors are scrutinizing charities more than ever and questioning how nonprofits are using their money, how can we restore donor confidence? Change the conversation. Share your vision and plans for the future. Celebrate your successes, and be honest about your challenges and how you are addressing them. Quantify your results and impact, both in numbers and stories.If donors see that you are doing good work with visible results, then the “administrative” costs and how you spend money on staff and fundraising, for example, fit within a broader context of organizational effectiveness. It then makes sense that having the financial resources to pay competitive salaries to hire talented and experienced staff will lead to stronger programs and results. Fundraising expenses become part of your organization’s overall strategy for growth and reinvestment of revenue to create a stronger foundation for innovative and expanded breadth of services. You get the picture.Donor trust should never be assumed. It’s earned. While you may not be able to shift your donors from restricting their gifts to specific programs, you can inspire greater investment by positioning everything you need—from vision to staff to resources—to continue doing your work well. The 2015 Giving USA report announced that giving levels across the United States returned to record highs, finally restarting the philanthropic pause triggered by the 2008 recession.If donor confidence seems to have been restored and all is right in the charitable world again, why does a recent Chronicle of Philanthropy poll point to stalled levels of confidence in nonprofits? Of the 1,000 or so people surveyed, 64% said they had a great deal of confidence in charities. More than 50% is pretty good, right? So what’s the problem? Donor trust levels have stayed about the same since 2002, when Paul Light, a professor at New York University, started studying donor confidence.last_img read more

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What’s Missing from Your Small Nonprofit’s Fundraising Plan

first_imgThe secret to better campaign results, more engaged donors, and board buy-in is a thoughtful and clear fundraising plan. While we all know we need a plan, sometimes it’s not always easy to make time to create a realistic plan and in many cases, we may not have the information we need to make the right strategic decisions. If you’re like most small nonprofits, it’s likely that your plan is missing a critical element—clean, accurate fundraising data.Your Fundraising Plan Must Be Based on Accurate Fundraising DataHaving the right data on your campaign performance, funding sources, donor history, and giving patterns will allow you to make smarter decisions on how to spend your time and resources going forward. Why is this so important?You’ll know what’s working, and what’s not.Sounds obvious, right? But most nonprofits are surprised when they see their aggregated fundraising results and campaign data. As trends emerge, you can make better decisions on what to do more of…and what to stop doing in the coming year. You can double down on the tactics and messages that work best for your supporters.You can identify donor segments and create strategies for them.Once you understand who your new, major, recurring, lapsed, and event donors are, you can develop tailored outreach to best reach and convert them. (Just getting started with donor segmentation? We have a simple planning template that will help you maximize your communications.)You’ll have more credibility with your board.You can feel more confident presenting your plan to your board when you have the data to back it up vs. relying on a hunch or opinions. Having a data-backed plan will also help you answer questions and fend off “creative tinkering” from well-meaning board members.You’ll know what you need to spend to meet your fundraising goals.Armed with the data about your past fundraising results and donor opportunities, you can project how much you’ll need to spend (and which resources to allocate) to make the plan happen.Need some help getting a better fundraising plan in place and figuring out how to collect, compile, and understand the data you need? Check out this upcoming webinar to learn simple steps for quickly creating a solid plan that will allow you to reach your small nonprofit’s funding goals this year.Register for this webinar now and learn How to Create Your 12-Month Fundraising Plan!last_img read more

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Understanding the Flow of Reproductive Health Knowledge in Ethiopia

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on June 1, 2012June 21, 2017Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)K4Health recently published a needs assessment and network mapping of family planning and reproductive health information in Ethiopia. The overall goal of the assessment was to gain a better understanding of the accessibility and flow of information relating to family planning and reproductive health among key actors in Ethiopia.In Ethiopia, K4Health sought to explore the current family planning/reproductive health (FP/RH) knowledge management system; examine information flows and barriers at different levels of the health system; and identify areas to strengthen health information sharing and use. Using a novel, participatory approach (Net-Map) yielded a highly visual presentation of the data that identifies key FP/RH actors in Ethiopia, explores the nature of relationships among the actors, and examines the level of influence of the different actors with regard to reproductive health information exchange. Using the Net-Map approach, the researchers were able to identify bottle necks to information flow and opportunities to improve that flow across health system levels in Ethiopia.This body of research aimed to determine how to better meet health care professionals’ dynamic information needs so that they can provide better health care to the populations they serve. In Ethiopia, reproductive health indicators can be improved through better health information exchange. This report provides important recommendations that can help get the right information delivered to health care professionals when they need it and can help enhance the quality of health care programs countrywide.Read the full assessment here.Share this:last_img read more

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Rethinking Family Planning in China

first_imgPosted on July 6, 2012June 21, 2017Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Family planning laws in China, particularly the one child policy, are being challenged by high profile scholars and other individuals this week. The Wall Street Journal‘s China Realtime Report explains the issue and why we are seeing increased activism surrounding family planning in China:A group of 15 prominent Chinese scholars issued a open letter [in Chinese] on Thursday calling for a rethink of country’s family-planning laws, arguing that the law in its present form is incompatible with China’s increasing respect for human rights and need for sustainable economic development.It was the second open call for reform of the one-child policy this week, and comes less than a month after the shocking story of a seven-months pregnant woman forced undergo an abortion ignited a firestorm of anger online.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

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From the Economist, Four Reasons for Progress in Bangladesh

first_imgPosted on November 16, 2012Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)On November 2nd, the Economist published an article, Out of the Basket, that explores reasons for progress in a country they describe as one of the most intriguing puzzles in development: Bangladesh.From the story:City states apart, it is the world’s most densely populated country, with around 150m people crammed onto the delta of the Ganges and the Brahmaputra, an area regularly swept by devastating floods. Its private sector is weak and its government widely perceived as corrupt and dysfunctional.And yet Bangladesh has done better than most countries at improving the basic standard of living of its people. Bangladeshis can expect to live four years longer than Indians even though they are much poorer. The country has achieved some of the largest reductions in early deaths of infants, children and women in childbirth ever seen anywhere.So that is the puzzle: Bangladesh combines economic disappointment with social progress. The Economist suggests four factors to explain why.Read the full story here.For a more detailed report on development in Bangladesh from the Economist, click here.Read the accompanying editorial here.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

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Global Maternal Health Conference 2013: Join the Global Team of Guest Bloggers!

first_imgPosted on December 3, 2012August 15, 2016Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Are you presenting at the Global Maternal Health Conference 2013 in Arusha, Tanzania? Do you plan to tune in to the live stream to view sessions remotely?Join the team of guest bloggers for the conference! With GMHC2013 right around the corner, the MHTF is looking forward to a lively online scientific dialogue about issues presented at the conference sessions. In an effort to fuel this conversation, we hope to engage a variety of perspectives–from various geographic regions and sub-fields–by connecting with health and development bloggers around the world.You might be interested in writing a guest blog post if:You would like to connect with a broader audience about the work you are presenting at GMHC2013,You work in global health and development and would like to share your thoughts on how the issues discussed in the sessions relate to your work in your specific context,You are working on similar issues to those discussed in the sessions, and would like to share your insights,You have a passion for global health and writing, and would like to help synthesize lessons learned from the sessions.Guest posts will be posted on the MHTF Blog and cross-posted on a number of other leading sexual and reproductive health, development, and global health blogs.If you are participating in the conference (either in Tanzania or remotely via live webcast) and would like to guest blog about the work you are presenting or the sessions you attend, please submit a brief statement of interest or a sample blog post of less than 300 words to Kate Mitchell (kmitchel@hsph.harvard.edu).Please also get in touch if you plan to blog on your own blog or your organization’s blog or website. We would love to discuss linking to your posts and cross-posting content.Take a look at the posts from the first Global Maternal Health Conference.For more information, contact Kate Mitchell (kmitchel@hsph.harvard.edu).Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

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Learning From Failures? Op-ed Calls for Better Use of Negative Findings

first_imgShare this: Posted on February 4, 2013March 21, 2017By: Sarah Blake, MHTF consultantClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Last weekend, The New York Times featured an op-ed by journalist Sam Loewenberg on research published last summer in PLOS Medicine, “Community Mobilization in Mumbai Slums to Improve Perinatal Care and Outcomes: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial.” For anyone interested in the challenges related to improving maternal health in cities, the PLOS article is a fascinating read and, in fact, it is part of the MHTF-PLOS collaboration on Maternal Health. Loewenberg highlights this article for a reason that comes up in many discussions of how to develop better maternal health interventions: the pressure to highlight only success, and, in particular, to downplay research findings that show interventions falling short of actually improving maternal and newborn health.As Loewenberg writes:                            The travails of the Newborn Health project aren’t unique. What is noteworthy is that when the project did not work as planned, the team reported it openly and in detail, providing potentially valuable information for other researchers.   It is a provocative point, and one that comes up often in our discussions of how to better address the biggest challenges for improving maternal health. In fact, it was a major topic at GMHC2013, as Lancet editor Richard Horton led the opening plenary session, which had the theme “Science for activism: How evidence can create a movement for maternal health. The session even included discussion of a hypothetical “journal of failures.”What is more, the op-ed provides an interesting follow-up to the initial research article:Last year they rebooted. They set up small centers that offer basic health services like immunization, feeding, family planning and help navigating the city’s convoluted health and social service systems. So far, providing concrete services, rather than just advice on collective organizing, seems to be more in tune with the needs of people in the slums.Clearly, with a new phase of work underway in Mumbai, it remains to be seen whether the work in Mumbai will yield results. In the meantime, it is worth revisiting the original article along with this weekend’s op-ed. Together, they touch on many of the most compelling challenges for the field today. ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

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PLOS Medicine Editorial Spotlights Access to Health Information as Central to Human Right to Health

first_imgPosted on May 2, 2013March 13, 2017By: Sarah Blake, MHTF consultantClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)In an editorial published this week in PLOS Medicine, the editors discuss the critical need for improved health information, particularly clear, accessible reference materials that enable health care providers to put the best evidence into practice and bolster health care in low and middle income countries. In their discussion of the critical need for high quality reference and educational materials, the authors single out the issue of postpartum hemorrhage.From the editorial: It is in the poorest settings where basic health information may prove most valuable. For example, postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is a leading cause of maternal death worldwide; yet despite being recommended by the WHO and other professional bodies, active management of the third stage of labor to prevent PPH was found to be correctly used in only 0.5% to 32% of observed deliveries in seven developing countries . Worryingly, six of the seven countries were found to have multiple guidelines and conflicting recommendations for active management of the third stage of labor.The authors go on to point out that while important sources of knowledge, expanding dissemination of the sort of evidence published in medical journals alone is not sufficient. Instead, the most critical resources may be those that translate evidence into forms that can be readily applied:Medical journals remain a key part of the knowledge translation process, almost exclusively dealing with the final stages of knowledge creation (primary research), distillation (systematic reviews and guidelines), and commentary (editorializing and contextualizing by experts) via peer review and finally dissemination. Although making research openly available to be both read and reused is an essential step toward a vision of wider access to healthcare knowledge, disseminating information on its own is not enough to ensure evidence is used in decision-making. In many settings it is access to secondary reference and educational materials based on the best available evidence that is severely lacking yet probably more crucial for clinical practice than the most recent observational study or clinical trial findings.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

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Woman-Centered Maternity Care, Family Planning, and HIV: Principles for Rights-Based Integration

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on June 6, 2013March 6, 2017Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Our colleagues at the Wilson Center Global Health Initiative are hosting a discussion with experts on rights-based maternity care and the intersection with family planning and HIV. The event will take place on June 11th from 3-5pm at the Wilson Center in Washington DC.About the event:Increasingly, family planning and HIV programs are seeking to expand their services to include maternal health care. The movement to integrate health services provides an important opportunity to share lessons learned across the different communities on their experiences with rights-based care. Join us for a discussion with experts in rights-based maternity care and its intersection with family planning and HIV.Click here for the list of speakers for the event.Click here to RSVP.Click here for directions to the Wilson Center.Learn more about this topic by visiting the MHTF’s topic pages focused on maternal health, HIV, and AIDS and respectful maternity care.For a compilation of the latest news and publications on maternal health, HIV and AIDS, click here. For a compilation of the latest news and publications on respectful maternity care, click here.Explore the MHTF’s ongoing blog series on maternal health, HIV, and AIDS and respectful maternity care.Share this:last_img read more

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World Health Assembly Convenes With Focus on Post-2015 Global Development Agenda

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on May 20, 2013March 8, 2017By: Sarah Blake, MHTF consultantClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The 66th World Health Assembly convened today, May 20 with addresses and discussions focused on the post-2015 global development agenda. The Assembly runs through May 28, and will feature numerous discussions and consideration of resolutions on issues that are critical to advancing maternal health.The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) has prepared an overview of side events on reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health. Among the highlights is “Securing the future: Saving the lives of women and children,” which will focus on success stories, as well as key challenges for the United Nations Secretary-General’s Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health and Every Woman Every Child movement. It will provide an opportunity for discussion of a proposed resolution on the ‘Implementation of the recommendations of the Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children.’ Other key events include a session on promoting accountability for maternal and child health, which will provide health ministers an opportunity to share perspectives on progress and challenges for MDGs 4 and 5, and to reflect on the “unfinished business” that will require attention past the 2015 MDG deadline; and a session on the importance of human resources for health.For more on the proceedings of the World Health Assembly, including the provisional agenda and highlights of each day’s proceedings, visit the World Health Organization media center. Share this:last_img read more

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Preconception Planning, Counseling and Care (PCC) is Important for All Couples, Including Those Affected by HIV

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on June 21, 2013March 6, 2017By: Dr. Jean Anderson, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Jhpiego; Kelly Curran, Jhpiego, MCHIP; Laura Fitzgerald, Jhpiego, MCHIPClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Decisions about whether a woman and her partner want to have children, how many they might want to have, and when they might want to have them, are not always clear-cut or predictable. Reproductive goals are often linked to a multitude of complicated and deeply personal hopes and beliefs. For this reason, healthcare providers have a responsibility to value clients as individuals with unique sets of life circumstances and priorities. All women, and all couples, deserve to access the information they need to make safe and informed choices…regardless of geography, regardless of socio-economic status, regardless of age, regardless of marital status, and regardless of the result of an HIV test.Safe family planning (FP) as well as preconception planning, counseling, and care (PCC) are important in the continuum of care for all couples, including those affected by HIV. These critical services:Prevent unintended pregnancy;Promote appropriate birth spacing;Optimize maternal health before pregnancy and maternal and fetal health during pregnancy;Prevent maternal to child transmission of HIV; andReduce the risk of HIV transmission to uninfected partner.A considerable unmet need for FP exists for women living with HIV.  In sub-Saharan Africa, for example, between 66 and 92 percent of HIV positive women do not want more children, but only 20 to 43 percent of women use contraception (Sarnquist et al. Curr HIV Res 2013;11:160). Irrespective of this need and of the safety of most FP methods for women living with HIV, some providers limit options for these women. Research demonstrates that providers are especially hesitant to recommend long acting reversible contraception or emergency contraception in the setting of HIV.Similarly, some providers do not feel comfortable when these women and their partners want to conceive.  Too many HIV positive women are told that intended pregnancies are irresponsible. All people have the right to respectful, quality care; not only do HIV positive women share similar feelings about motherhood as other women, but in the era of antiretroviral therapy, many also experience improvements in fertility.This is not to suggest that women living with HIV are without particular healthcare needs.  For instance, women who live with HIV may be more likely to experience violence within their intimate relationships.  They are also particularly vulnerable to co-infections with tuberculosis or malaria and to suffer from anemia.  Further, many of these women – up to 50 percent in a country like Kenya – are in serodiscordant relationships, and transmission to a partner is a concern. Appropriate PCC for couples allows for optimal prevention of transmission to HIV negative partners, as well as vertical transmission to children.PCC also offers an excellent opportunity to promote healthy behaviors.  PCC presents an opportunity to counsel couples about risk mitigation, FP, healthy eating habits, psychosocial and mental health issues, and long term care plans, as well as to address care and treatment of HIV and related issues.  Additionally, through PCC, underlying medical conditions – such as tuberculosis, other opportunistic infections, or other chronic conditions such as hypertension or diabetes – can be identified and treated, optimizing maternal health and pregnancy outcomes.Recent years have witnessed great strides in HIV prevention, care, and treatment.  People living with HIV enjoy longer and healthier lives. As a public health community, there is a pressing need to look beyond a narrow biomedical treatment lens, and to acknowledge clients’ fundamental life goals. Do couples want to postpone pregnancy to attain other educational, professional, or relational goals?  Do they want to conceive now, a year from now, five years from now, or not at all?  It is time to better understand how to integrate FP and PCC services into HIV care, and to look closely at their effectiveness in achieving better outcomes for women and their families.This post is part of a blog series on maternal health, HIV, and AIDS. To view the entire series, click here.For additional information about maternal health, HIV, and AIDS, visit our topic page. Share this:last_img read more

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PMNCH Launches New Resources on National Progress and Global Commitments to MDG Maternal and Child Health Targets

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on September 22, 2013February 2, 2017By: Sarah Blake, MHTF consultantClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)As world leaders gather at the UN General Assembly to review progress toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and considers the framework that will follow the 2015 MDG deadline, the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) has released its annual review of commitments to the Global Strategy on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. This year’s edition of the report focuses on assessing whether and how the 213 partners that committed to the Global Strategy have followed up on their pledges. As PMNCH Executive Director Carole Presern wrote in the Huffington Post introducing the report, “The report shows that more organizations, governments and the private sector are making commitments to improve women’s and children’s health every year, and that those commitments are being followed up with real action.”Along with the review, PMNCH has also produced “Success Factors,” a series of 10 national case studies that present critical lessons learned for global efforts to advance maternal, newborn and child health. The case studies focus on a diverse group of countries that have achieved substantial progress in recent years, and highlight both common themes and country-specific examples of how effective approaches have been implemented to achieve dramatic effects on maternal and child health.From PMNCH:Success Factor Country Summaries highlight lessons learned from 10 countries (Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Laos PDR, Nepal, Peru, Rwanda and Vietnam) that are well on the path to achieving the MDG targets for maternal and child health.These summaries present different types of policies and programmes that countries use in key areas known to influence the health of women and children.The lessons learned from the analysis of these 10 countries illustrate: The summaries are drawn from evidence collected as part of “Accelerating Progress for Women’s and Children’s Health,” an ongoing, multi-partner effort to answer the question “What can we learn about making progress on women’s and children’s health?” based on  large-scale vidence from 136 low- and middle-income countries over the past 50 years.Share this:center_img Political commitment overcomes challengesEvidence guides policy and investmentSustainable development accelerates progressStrong partnerships achieve goalslast_img read more

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New Research: Examining Maternal Health in the Context of Women’s Health Throughout the Lifespan

first_imgPosted on October 16, 2013February 2, 2017By: Kate Mitchell, Manager of the MHTF Knowledge Management System, Women and Health InitiativeClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Each year, the Maternal Health Task Force and PLOS Medicine work together to organize an open access collection of research and commentary on maternal health. The two organizations team up to identify a specific and critical theme that merits further exploration within the broader context of maternal health. The Year 2 Collection, titled ‘Maternal Health is Women’s Health‘, launched in November and focuses on establishing a stronger understanding of how the health of women and girls before pregnancy influences maternal health—and also considers the impact of maternal health on women’s health more broadly even beyond the reproductive years. Today, the MHTF and PLOS Medicine are delighted to announce the addition of 12  articles to the Year 2 collection. The articles include research on the effect of prophylactic oxytocin for postpartum hemorrhage delivered by peripheral health workers in Ghana, a commentary that calls for the prioritization of cervical cancer in the post-2015 era, as well as an article that explores the impact of maternal deaths on living children in Tanzania, and much more. Our colleagues at PLOS Medicine shared a blog post on their blog, Speaking of Medicine, about the additions to the collection. In this excerpt, they describe in more detail the theme for the Year 2 collection:This theme was created to highlight the need to consider maternal health in the context of a women’s health throughout her lifespan. While pregnancy is limited to women of reproductive age, maternal health is influenced by the health of women and girls before pregnancy. The effects of key health issues such as the impact of poor nutrition, poverty, lack of available quality healthcare and low socioeconomic status can occur during childhood, adolescence, throughout the pregnancy and beyond. These issues can heavily influence a woman’s maternal health, heightening the risk of complications in pregnancy, such as obstructed labour in adolescent girls or increasing the likelihood of HIV infections due to a woman’s physical susceptibility and her relative disempowerment.Read the post on Speaking of Medicine.The following new articles from PLOS Medicine and PLOS ONE have been added to the MHTF-PLOS collection on maternal health:Preconception Care in Low and Middle Income Countries:  new opportunities and a new metric by Joel G. Ray and colleagues.Reproductive and maternal health in the post-2015 era: cervical cancer must be a priority by Ruby Singhrao and colleaguesEffect on postpartum hemorrhage of prophylactic oxytocin by peripheral health personnel in Ghana: a community-based, cluster-randomized trial by Cynthia K. Stanton and colleaguesSetting Research Priorities for Preconception Care in Low-and Middle-income Countries: Aiming to Reduce Maternal and Child Mortality and Morbidity by Sohni Dean and colleaguesFactors Affecting the Delivery, Access, and Use of Interventions to Prevent Malaria in Pregnancy in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis by Jenny Hill and colleaguesHIV and the Risk of Direct Obstetric Complications: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis by Clara Calvert and Carine RonsmansAntenatal depression in Sri Lanka and the factor structure of the Sinhalese version of Edinburgh Post Partum Depression Scale among pregnant women by Suneth Buddhika Agampodi and Thilini Chanchala AgampodiComorbidities and Lack of Blood Transfusion May Negatively Affect Maternal Outcomes of Women with Obstetric Hemorrhage Treated with NASG by Alison El Ayadi and colleaguesCosts of Inaction on Maternal Mortality: Qualitative Evidence of the Impacts of Maternal Deaths on Living Children in Tanzania by Alicia Ely Yamin and colleaguesAcute Maternal Infection and Risk of Pre-eclampsia: a Population-Based Case-Control Study by Caroline Minassian and colleaguesRepresentation of women and pregnant women in HIV research: a systematic review by Daniel Westreich and colleaguesAttitudes Toward Family Planning Among HIV-Positive Pregnant Women Enrolled in a Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission Study in Kisumu, Kenya by Shirley Lee Lecher and colleaguesCommunity Health Workers and Health Care Delivery: Evaluation of a Women’s Reproductive Health Care Project in a Developing Country by Abdul Wajid and colleaguesAnalysis of the Maternal and Child Health Care Status in Suizhou City, Hubei Province, China, from 2005 to 2011 by Hui-Ping Zhang and colleaguesWhen Women Deliver with No One Present in Nigeria: Who, What, Where and So What? by Bolaji M. Fapohunda and Nosakhare G. OrobatonTo learn more about the MHTF-PLOS Collection on Maternal Health, contact Kate Mitchell.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

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The Global Stage Needs a Global Audience

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on January 23, 2014November 7, 2016By: Lennie Kamwendo, White Ribbon Alliance Global Board MemberClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)As we approach the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals, what does the future hold for international maternal mortality targets? The MHTF is pleased to be hosting a blog series on post-2015 maternal mortality goal setting. Over the next several weeks, we will be featuring responses and reactions to proposed targets from around the world. Please share your thoughts with us!The importance of the global attention that maternal health was given when world leaders recognised that MDG5 was (and still is) the most offtrack goal of all is evident. The $70bn pledged since 2010 to ‘The Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health’ is pivotal in the history of maternal, newborn and child health, and pledges which may not have been made without the broad MDG target and tracking of progress. We, as advocates for maternal and newborn health welcomed this fantastic news – finally women’s childbirth rights were being prioritised – but we know the real work comes when pushing for these promises to be delivered.Indeed, a main challenge that civil society faces when pushing for such promises to be delivered is just how much any of these commitments are discussed in our parliaments and our media. Targets are useful, and absolute targets relative to the reality in the country are even more useful. As we move towards the deadline of the MDGs, we have lessons to learn from blanket targets being set in the international arena with little regard for whether they are attainable in the country. When targets are obviously not going to be achieved it can be demoralizing, even when progress is being made. Perhaps this is a contributory reason as to why accountability is so low on the commitments our governments make on the international stage. The targets are unattainable as are the promises made on how to achieve them, creating a cyclical process of underachievement.The general consensus in Malawi is that our politicians, for the most part, are not even aware of the promises made on their behalf. Our President has been a champion for maternal health and has made impressive commitments to Malawi’s women and children, ensuring free care, strengthening of human resources for health and attaining the WHO standard for emergency obstetric care. Yet there are no numerical targets attached to these commitments, no clear plan as to how they will be achieved and weak accountability at the national level on commitments made. As a Global Board member of The White Ribbon Alliance, I am consistently hearing the same story from our members in many other countries where maternal deaths are high. Perhaps 2014 will see a tangible balance between targeted creation of demand for skilled care for childbearing women and the supply of all the necessary aspects of maternity care. We need the full package from adequate, well qualified and competent human resource to an enabling environment for the provision of quality care.Targets are important. Commitments are encouraging. But we need the international community to invest in building civil society’s capacity to call their leaders and governments to account on making these promises a reality. Now is the time to build on the targets already set and drive home that unmet promises are not acceptable. We know change can happen when civil society pushes for accountability. The global stage needs a global audience.Share this:last_img read more

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Perspectives on Post-MDG Targets From on the Ground and Around the World

first_imgPosted on January 17, 2014August 10, 2016Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Members of the White Ribbon Alliance contributed the following comments regarding post-MDG maternal mortality targetsAs we approach the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals, what does the future hold for international maternal mortality targets? The MHTF is pleased to be hosting a blog series on post-2015 maternal mortality goal setting. Over the next several weeks, we will be featuring responses and reactions to proposed targets from around the world. Please share your thoughts with us!By Rahmatullah Niazmal, Consultant for PDM 1 & 2 and Overall Supervisor for RHP2, JICA-Reproductive Health Project Phase 2, Ministry of Public Health, AfghanistanAfghanistan is one of the countries which has high maternal mortality ratio (MMR). The current MMR is about 327/100000 live births. Respectively under-five mortality is 97 /1000 live births and, and the infant mortality rate is 77/1000 live births, according to the Afghanistan Mortality Survey, and the contraceptive prevalence rate is about 20 percent. The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has committed to improving access to maternal and reproductive health care; and enhancing the quality reproductive health care services is one the MoPH’s top priorities. However, still, there are challenges that MoPH has been competing with. Despite huge efforts that have been put by MoPH for the last one decade, much work remains to be done to maintain the current progress and improve further.The following are the goals for reaching beyond 2015:Increase access and utilization of quality reproductive health servicesIncrease deployment and distribution of trained SBA at national levelDecrease the number of home deliveries – which currently account for a greater proportion of births than institutional deliveriesFill the gap between knowledge(>90%) and utilization (20%) of family planning servicesLower the adolescent birth rate and reduce child marriage in the country.Build capacity at the national level about breast and cervical cancer for early prevention and treatmentEnhance capacity for obstetric fistula treatment, prevention and re-integration at the national levelRaise awareness about STIs, HIV and AIDS among adolescents and vulnerable populations.By Ronald Wonder, Managing Partner, PLUS CONSULTS, UgandaMy thinking on this issue is that targets are useful in driving progress in countries including Uganda but absolute targets are much better. It should then go further to set quotas for respective districts, starting with those with high mortality rates and trickle down to household in the sub counties.This would give more meaning to policy makers, individual and civil society organization making an effort to curb this problem among expectant mothers in Uganda.Keep the fight on to protect our mothers.By Jonas Fadweck, Youth Director and patron of Thuchila Youth Empowerment Programme, Project Officer of WHCCA-Malawi, member to White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood, and Girl Rising Regional Ambassador, UgandaIn order to improve maternal health in countries such as Malawi, I believe the following should be made priorities under the next development agenda:To increase rural bicycle ambulances for easy transport, especially in the community, for pregnant women: many women die before reaching the hospital, and many others deliver on the road before reaching a health facility – which is a disaster.To train other community members and/or increase expertise in the field in order to reduce the work load for nurses and midwives.To establish community mobilization campaigns to help people realize the importance of women to deliver at the hospital, attending antenatal clinics, and the consequences of teenage pregnancies.To introduce and increase maternity wings to health centres that now have no maternity services.To promote and encourage transparency and accountability.These are some of the contributions we can make to enshre more women and reach target goals.By Kezaabu Edwidge, Project Coordinator, Health Community Empowerment Project, UgandaThere is a great concern on maternal health and the situation is alarming: mothers are still dying in labour and post delivery due to problems related to pregnancy, labor and pueperium. Involvement of all stakeholders is of paramount importance. In Uganda, young people, in particular adolescents and youths engaged in unprotected sex – who face unwanted pregnancy – require more attention. This is important to address the issue of teenage pregnancy, and related concerns such as abortion. The issue of male involvement at all levels starting with the families, then to managers and leaders of all categories. Family planning is also a concern as most people shun off services because of ignorance, the myths and misconception and the unmet need.By Jonathan LugemwaA percentage target is appropriate: taking into account previous methodologies used in communities before these formal interventions came into practice because our current surveys describe that formal interventions which are brought to the people in a provisional standards without their consent are less eligible to create permanent change so its very much vital to include especially the local populations.By Uhawenimana Thierry Claudien, Public Relations and Communications Officer, University of Rwanda, College of Medicine and Health SciencesThere are considerable efforts underway to reduce neonatal mortality and maternal mortality in Rwanda, which now has a maternal mortality ratio (MMR) of 340 deaths per 100,000 live births. However, a lot needs to be done in order to ensure no mother or child should die as a result of child birth or pregnancy complications.In some rural areas in Rwanda – mainly in the mountainous areas that are hard to reach – I have noticed that the physical settings may be the leading factor in maternal and child deaths. Some villages are far from the health facilities (7-8 kms) and the roads leading there are not well furnished. This leads some pregnant mothers to not complete the four recommended antenatal care (ANC) visits, which are vital to the safe pregnancy and delivery. Some women deliver along the way to the health center due to circumstances leading to the delay at home, and the delay to reach the health facility.Thus I would like that in the next targets to reduce maternal and child mortality, governments should put much emphasis on making the population aware of the birth preparedness and complication readiness; and also removing the barriers that impede the population from accessing obstetric services in a timely way, such as reducing the distance to the health facilities in areas that are hard to reach, availing ambulances at health centers that are far from the district hospitals, increasing the community health workers’ skills and knowledge to deal with some pregnancy related complications.As the number of adolescent girls who become pregnant increases in Rwanda, there is a need to educate them on health policies, including on how they can receive adolescent friendly services near them; and mobilize the whole community to go beyond the limits of culture and religion and support the sexual and reproductive health information on behalf of the adolescent. By doing this, no adolescent girl will be stigmatized because she has used contraceptives, and those who will accidentally get pregnant will not hide it; something that put them under the risk of death or injury. In addition, the rate of abortion will be reduced among this age group.There is a need to involve men in maternal and child health initiatives by giving them the knowledge and necessary skills required for them to support mothers and babies, as well as helping them understand their interests in embracing that role. Thus, there will play a key role in empowering the girls to be confident of themselves and to say no to unwanted sexual intercourse pulses, or will not seek to exploit you girls sexually.As for family planning, there is a need to train more professionals in providing services of family planning and who are experts in contraception usage. There is a tendency nowadays that nurses or midwives only administer any method of FP to a woman and at the end of the day, she faces side effects some of which may be fatal. But, if we have experts in contraceptives’ administration and counseling, some of the issues and myths preventing people from accessing the services will be kept at arm’s length. In addition to this, there is a need to keep on increasing the number of skilled birth attendants so that they be proportional to the number of deliveries taking place in health centers and hospitals. This will improve the service delivery given to the mothers and will reduce some of the risks associated with overloading the health personnel.Lastly, laws related to maternal and child health should be incorporated in the country’s legal framework and on top of that, the existing laws should be revised and even hold accountable men who impregnate girls and abandon them or those who refuse to support their pregnant partners among many others.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

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Celebrating the Second Year of the PLOS-MHTF Collection on Maternal Health

first_imgPosted on January 29, 2014August 10, 2016Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The following was originally posted on PLOS  BlogsPLOS Medicine and the MHTF review highlights of the second successful collection, as part of their 3 Year partnership focusing on improving Maternal Health globally.Back in late 2012 the Maternal Health Task Force, at the Harvard School of Public Health, and PLOS Medicine issued a call for papers on the theme ‘Maternal Health is Women’s Health’, chosen in order to recognise that a women’s health is of crucial importance through her lifetime, and not just during pregnancy and labour.The breadth of the research that has been submitted to PLOS since the call has been of great quality and impact. In this blog, we’d like to highlight just some articles in the collection that represent a selection of the important work recommended to alleviate the poor health, low educational attainment and low socioeconomic status adversities affecting maternal health, that women and girls of experience throughout their lifetimes.To continue reading, visit the original post at PLOS. For more on Year 3 of the PLOS-MHTF  collection on maternal health, including guidelines for submitting to the collection, visit the Year 3 call for papers. To read articles published in the Year 1 and Year 2 collections, visit PLOS Collections.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

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