There is an African saying that captures the challenge we face: “a pregnant woman has one foot in the grave.” We can’t let this be so.
Over the last two decades, the global community has witnessed a remarkable reduction in the annual number of maternal deaths worldwide. Yet, too many women continue to die in pregnancy and childbirth from preventable and treatable causes, and national maternal mortality averages often conceal large inequities within countries.
In many countries where MCSP works, women’s lives — and those of their families’— are forever affected by their access to health care services, the quality of care at their nearest facility, and whether or not they are empowered to make health decisions for themselves and their children.
But women are not only key recipients of services in MCSP countries; they’re often the ones delivering lifesaving care deep into communities and at Program-supported facilities. On International Women’s Day and every day, we celebrate those women who bring services to every doorstep, making health care more equitable for their sisters in regions with significant health challenges.
This final program year, MCSP continues to share our on-the-ground learning widely. I encourage you to download the recently launched, free and open access Maternal and Child Nutrition journal supplement: “How to Strengthen Nutrition Into the Health Platform: Programmatic Evidence and Experience from Low and Middle Income Countries.”
On March 26th, we’ll also discuss the role data plays in improving health outcomes. Please add your voice to the discussion by joining the 90-minute webinar! We will consider progress to date, key learning, and directions to improve routine RMNCAH data for action and accountability at the global and country levels.
For more information on this campaign, check out our social media toolkit, and follow the conversation on Twitter using #DataforHealth.
Koki Agarwal, MD, MPH, DrPH