November 30, 2018    Follow us on Twitter   View our videos on YouTube
Addressing Maternal and Newborn Health Challenges
through Life-saving Technologies
Florence trains other nurses in Malawi on the use of the CPAP. Photo: Dave Cooper
Did you know that complications from prematurity are the largest killer of children under 5? Saving Lives at Birth recognized World Prematurity Day (November 17) with the release of a video featuring Florence Mwenifumbo, a neonatal nurse in Malawi, and Jocelyn Brown, an MBA student at the University of California, Berkeley, whose efforts are saving the lives of small and sick newborns. Through the support of Saving Lives at Birth, both women champion the use of the continuous positive airway pressure machine, better known as CPAP, which can provide premature babies with the air pressure needed to support their breathing.

See why Florence Mwenifumbo is known by her colleagues as the "CPAP Champion".
SL@B-supported newborn health innovators are targeting the causes of neonatal death across the continuum of care and  equipping health workers on the frontlines to turn insurmountable challenges into solvable problems here. Read how 5 innovations are saving babies around the world. 
Increasing Newborn Survival Rates in Pakistan
Dr Khadija, a pediatrician in the neonatal care unit of Peshawar women's hospital, with a newborn baby on 3 October 2018. Photo: Laurie Bonnaud / MSF
An op-ed from Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) (Doctors Without Borders) highlights the importance of outreach and medical supervision in safe deliveries, particularly in low-resource settings.

Pakistan currently has the highest rate of newborn mortality in the world, with one in every 22 babies dying during the first month of life. Stillborn births are also a major issue in Pakistan, compounding the challenge further. Primary causes of newborn mortality in the country include premature birth, infections and complications during pregnancy and labor often exacerbated by social and cultural practices and lack of access to quality care throughout the region ---  particularly for women. "It is still common for women in Pakistan to deliver their babies at home ---  in poor conditions of hygiene and without the assistance of health professionals," says Dr. Khadija, a pediatrician in the neonatal care unit of Peshawar Women's Hospital. "There are often no drugs, no clean water and no electricity."

Since the 2011 opening of a MSF hospital in Peshawar ---  the capital of the Pakistani province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa ---  the organization has facilitated over 25,000 live births, entirely free of charge. In addition, new mothers at Peshawar Women's Hospital are advised on the importance of vaccination, postnatal care, and skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth and breastfeeding.

$1 Billion in Contributions Towards Maternal,
Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) Investments
Photo: Every Woman Every Child 
The Global Financing Facility (GFF) ---  in Support of Every Woman Every Child ---  has received $1 billion in contributions from a number of world leaders intended to assist the GFF's expansion into as many as 50 countries. Donors include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Burkina Faso, Canada, Côte d'Ivoire the European Commission, Denmark, Germany, Japan, Laerdal Global Health, the Netherlands, Norway, Qatar and the United Kingdom.

As a catalyst for health financing, the GFF works to transform how countries invest in women, children and adolescents, enabling them to achieve the Sustainable Develop goals and prioritizing the importance of health and nutrition in eradicating preventable deaths. "Today there is great hope that the world's poorest countries can build healthy, vibrant futures where no woman, child or youth is left behind," says Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway and Co-Chair of the Sustainable Development Goals Advocates. "The GFF partnership is effective and efficient ---  working with countries to develop the capacity to build and sustain the health systems their women and children need to survive and thrive."

The Effects of Impact Investing on Maternal Mortality
Photo: Mubeen Siddiqui/MCSP
A recent article from the Wharton School highlights the ongoing efforts and achievements of long-term global health efforts by Merck for Mothers. Launched in 2011 by Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier, the $500 million 10-year initiative leverages public and private partnerships in order to streamline supply chains for essential medicines and health commodities. Merck for Mothers seeks to reduce mortality rates among women worldwide-particularly maternal mortality.

In developing regions throughout the world, only 50% of women receive adequate health care today. A woman dies during pregnancy or childbirth every two minutes, numbering over 800 maternal deaths each day-the majority of which can be prevented by empowering women in developing nations with access to quality maternal health care before, during and after childbirth. To date, the program has benefited over 7.3 million women in more than 30 countries.

Mary-Ann Etiebet, Executive Director for Merck for Mothers and Jagdeep Gambhir, Founder and CEO of Karma Healthcare in India share their perspectives on addressing women's health issues on this podcast.

"Design with The 90%" Exhibit    
Photo: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center
The Gates Foundation, its partners, and the Seattle community, have launched a special exhibit entitled Design with the 90%, currently on view at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center in Seattle, Washington. Organized by Cooper Hewitt of New York's Smithsonian Design Museum, Design with the 90% demonstrates ways in which individuals and organizations are using design innovation to address some of the most critical global health challenges. The 26 projects on view highlight how incorporating design processes are helping to improve access to essentials for improving quality of life ---  clean water, health care, education, and shelter, as examples ---  as well as its impact on increasing economic opportunities and strengthening communities.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center is located at 440 5th Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109 and open Tuesday ---  Friday, 10 AM ---  5 PM.  
Learn more about the exhibit, which runs until May 11, 2019.
Apply Now! £20 Million ($25.5 million USD) Grant Funding
for Digital Health Innovations
Photo: iStock 
The Wellcome Trust will be awarding £500,000 to £1 million GBP (British pound) each to 20 digital health innovators in support of two years of their work on pressing global health challenges and needs. Funding can be utilized to address a number of different project costs ---     including salaries, project management, travel etc. ---    to organizations working to apply AI, analytics, VR, and other digital technologies to address gaps in care and, improve the lives of at least one million people annually by 2022. Individuals and teams from not-for-profit and commercial organizations of any size and from anywhere in the world are encouraged to apply.

Learn more about the Wellcome Trust Innovator Awards for Digital Health Technologies. Alternatively, go directly to the application for grant funding.

The deadline for applications is December 3rd, 2018 at 9 AM PST.
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