Closing Gaps In Care, Commitment To Accelerating Change Can Help Reduce Maternal, Newborn Mortality, Morbidity

Project Syndicate: How to Save Women and Newborns During Childbirth
Katherine Semrau, director of the Ariadne Labs Better Birth Program, and Atul Gawande, executive director of Ariadne Labs, both associated with Harvard and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital

“…Progress on reducing maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity … requires improving and strengthening the capabilities and quality of care in primary care facilities that provide labor and delivery services. … Effective health systems must be able to close nearly all gaps in care, including gaps in supplies and equipment, basic skills and capabilities, and communication and connections to higher-level health facilities for sick mothers and babies. … How do we get to this standard? … [More is] needed to accelerate change, including financial resources, political will, and the dedication of leaders, providers, and the community to demand progress. We are closer than we have ever been to closing the gaps that account for most maternal and newborn mortality. … [W]e know what is needed to make childbirth safer. To improve the health and well-being of mothers and their newborns, we must translate that knowledge into reality in every facility around the world” (4/10).