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Global Maternal Health Conference To Begin

NEW YORK  -- From August 30 to September 1, more than 600 maternal health experts will gather in Delhi, India, for the Global Maternal Health Conference 2010, the first international technical conference devoted exclusively to maternal health. Hosted by the Maternal Health Task Force at EngenderHealth and the Public Health Foundation of India, the conference aims to increase consensus and coordination around the evidence, programs, and advocacy needed to advance maternal health. According to latest estimates, more than 342,000 women worldwide die due to preventable pregnancy or childbirth complications every year.

"We are bringing together health professionals, advocates, researchers, donors, policymakers, and others to coordinate efforts and leverage our collective resources so that we can eradicate preventable maternal deaths in our lifetimes," says Ann Blanc, Ph.D., Director of the Maternal Health Task Force at EngenderHealth. "This conference is the perfect venue to continue to accelerate the momentum toward achieving the UN Millennium Development Goal No. 5 (improve maternal health)."

Over the course of three days, the conference will focus on six major themes, which will be presented through plenaries, presentations, and posters, including:

  • Existing, affordable interventions, specifically innovative technologies that are saving women's lives
  • Underlying factors affecting maternal health, including nutrition, violence, gender equity
  • Broader health system solutions, including task sharing and emergency referrals
  • The role of policy and advocacy in advancing maternal health
  • Leveraging the power of digital technology and new media to help women obtain emergency obstetric care and to collect vital health data

"The fact that we are holding the Conference in India is significant," according to Dr. Beena Varghese, Head, Research Development for the Public Health Foundation of India. "India in the past few years has made significant progress in reducing maternal deaths; however, more needs to be done, as this nation still accounts for a majority of maternal deaths globally every year. By hosting this summit in Delhi, India is demonstrating its commitment to improving maternal health within the country and beyond."


About the Maternal Health Task Force at EngenderHealth

Recognizing that real progress requires better coordination and increased global attention, the Maternal Health Task Force at EngenderHealth was founded to bring together existing maternal health networks and engage new organizations to facilitate global coordination of maternal health programs. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Task Force does not duplicate or replace existing projects, but plays a complementary role by convening stakeholders and creating an inclusive setting to engage in dialogue, build consensus, and share information. 

About the Public Health Foundation of India

The Public Health Foundation of India is a response to redress the limited institutional capacity in India for strengthening training, research, and policy development in the area of public health. It is a public-private partnership that has collaboratively evolved through consultations with multiple constituencies. 

About EngenderHealth

EngenderHealth is a leading international reproductive health organization working to improve the quality of health care in the world's poorest communities. EngenderHealth empowers people to make informed choices about contraception, trains health care providers to make motherhood safer, promotes gender equity, enhances the quality of HIV and AIDS services, and advocates for positive policy change. The nonprofit organization works in partnership with governments, institutions, communities, and health care professionals in more than 20 countries around the world. 



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