Crystal Lander

{Photo credit: Rui Pires.}Photo credit: Rui Pires.

Are you looking forward to InterAction's Forum 2014, June 10-13, in Washington, DC?

So are we! The Forum brings together representatives of international organizations from all sectors in the global development ecosystem, including global health.

As a co-sponsor of this year’s forum, Management Sciences for Health (MSH) is organizing and participating in panel workshops (details below), an interactive conference booth, and much more.

On Twitter, follow us at and use (official conference hashtag) and (related campaign, led by ). Also follow: , , and .

We hope to see you at these panel workshops, and be sure to visit us at table T-39!

Attendees of the Global Maternal Health Conference 2013. {Photo credit: MSH.}Photo credit: MSH.

Management Sciences for Health (MSH) staff presenting at the Global Maternal Health Conference in Arusha, Tanzania, January 15-17, 2013. (Photo credits: C. Lander & J. Briggs / MSH)

Dr. Agnes Binagwaho is a pediatrician and serves as the Minister of Health of Rwanda. {Photo credit: dr-agnes.blogspot.com/}Photo credit: dr-agnes.blogspot.com/

The second Global Maternal Health Conference began yesterday in Arusha, Tanzania, as an intentional dialogue between scientists, researchers, implementers, advocates, policymakers, and media. More than 700 people (from about 2000 abstracts) were selected to attend and share knowledge on how to improve the quality of care and eliminate maternal deaths.

This is my first global maternal health conference --- but not my first maternal health conference. I keep wondering: how will this one be different?

As I went through the first day of sessions and informal exchanges, I couldn't help feeling like one person "stole the show". At lunch and dinner, the conversations kept coming back to the dynamic Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, the Minister of Health from Rwanda. She served as the keynote speaker in the opening plenary and a panelist for another session.

When you hear Dr. Agnes speak, you know she is smart and accomplished. And, talking with other attendees, it is clear that, regardless if participants agreed with her specific recommendations, Dr. Agnes' commitment, knowledge, logic, and candor are appreciated and needed in the conference conversation.

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