Access To Supplies, Medicines In Developing World Essential To Improve Maternal Health

“Supplies — the essential medicines and medical equipment frontline health workers need to successfully do their jobs — are a vital part of the solution to saving the lives of mothers and newborns,” Catharine Taylor, a maternal health expert with PATH, writes in the Huffington Post’s “Global Motherhood” blog, adding, “And yet, they are frequently overlooked in the ongoing conversation about how to improve maternal health in the developing world.” She continues, “All the skilled health care workers in the world can’t deliver the care women need if a clinic’s stock is empty and the next round of supplies is weeks away. Reliable availability of maternal health medicines and supplies will ultimately strengthen health care systems and make frontline health workers more effective.”

Noting the work of the U.N. Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children and a new report (.pdf) from PATH, titled “Safeguarding pregnant women with essential medicines,” Taylor says, “With political support and additional funding for proven, low-cost maternal health supplies and the systems that support their delivery, we have the power to transcend the barriers, drive important improvements to save millions of women, and establish a cycle of health and prosperity.” She concludes, “We have the incredible opportunity to help break the cycle of poverty and build brighter futures for women and children around the world, and we must commit to making maternal health supplies a priority to set this transformation in motion” (9/27).

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