MSH Endorses Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, Applauds New International Alliance for Family Planning
Management Sciences for Health (MSH), a leader in maternal and child health service delivery and health systems strengthening, endorsed today the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health. The Strategy is a multi-sector collaboration to save the lives of 16 million women and children, launched by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon at the Every Woman, Every Child event at the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Summit in New York. The Strategy drew more than $40 billion in pledges and commitments from governments, civil society, philanthropists, and the private sector.
“We applaud the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health and its emphasis on integration of health services. A holistic approach to health care for women and children will maximize the impact of health investments – it will allow people, information and funding to flow more easily among collaborating groups and enable providers to treat the health needs of women and their families more efficiently – regardless of the initial reason a person seeks care,” said Jonathan D. Quick, MD, MPH, President and Chief Executive Officer of MSH.
“Adequate funding for maternal and child health is long overdue. The Strategy will work toward vastly improving the health and rights of women, children—and ultimately their families, communities and nations. It will contribute greatly toward successfully meeting all the MDGs by 2015,” said Dr. Quick.
In over 30 countries, MSH works closely with ministries of health, non-governmental organizations, and other partners to expand the use of health interventions to save lives and improve maternal, newborn, and child health. Supported by funding from USAID, World Health Organization, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other donors, MSH activities to empower women are integrated into maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH); family planning and reproductive health; and HIV & AIDS programs.
To reach the most vulnerable women and children, MSH promotes community-based approaches to MNCH, ensures postpartum follow-up for mothers and infants, and adequate care for common childhood illnesses such as pneumonia, diarrhea, and malaria. MSH promotes healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies; incorporates newborn care into programs for Integrated Management of Childhood Illness and prevention of mother to child HIV transmission programs. It improves the prevention and treatment of child malnutrition through education and the promotion of breastfeeding and supplementary feeding improves the quality of health care for newborns and children in primary care clinics and hospitals, increasing earlier diagnosis of HIV in infants and children and enhancing the quality and timeliness of emergency obstetric care, including improving transport.
MSH also welcomed the announcement today by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of a new alliance to increase access to family planning and reduce maternal and neonatal deaths for 100 million women in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. The five-year joint effort between the development agencies of the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will increase number of skilled birth attendants, babies delivered in clinics and hospitals and quality medical care for women and newborns.
“Until now, funding for family planning had seriously declined. Yet we know that family planning is an essential intervention to reduce maternal deaths, prevent unintended pregnancies and to allow healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies to ensure healthier mothers,” said Dr. Quick. “MSH looks forward to working together with all stakeholders in the fight to save women and children’s lives.”