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Lancet Special Issue Addresses Women’s Health Issues Ahead Of Women Deliver Conference

This week The Lancet published a special theme issue “ahead of the 2013 Women Deliver conference, to be held May 28-30 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia,” a Lancet press release reports. “Women Deliver brings together voices from around the world to call for action to improve the health and well-being of girls and women, and the latest issue of The Lancet highlights some of the latest research and views on maternal health,” the press release states (5/17). According to the special issue’s homepage summary, “The studies published in The Lancet’s themed issue use different methods to show the multidimensional nature of reproductive health and the influence of social determinants and health systems” (5/17).

A Lancet editorial summarizes some of the papers, and states, “The question for Women Deliver is how to best harness passion and hard work to accelerate progress efficiently. That the fifth Millennium Development Goal to reduce the maternal mortality ratio by three quarters before 2015 will be missed should not dull aspirations, but rather, sharpen resolve” (5/18). In a comment published in the special issue, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius writes, “As the global community continues this crucially important work at Women Deliver and beyond, we encourage all parties to assess the state of women’s health in their home countries, with a special focus on disadvantaged populations. Every day, 800 women die worldwide from preventable causes during pregnancy or childbirth. We all have a part to play in lowering that number. We can all do better” (5/18).