Putting Mothers and Babies First
Benefits Across a Lifetime

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PUTTING MOTHERS AND BABIES FIRST: Benefits across a Lifetime
Presented in Collaboration with The GroundTruth Project and GlobalPost

One of the smartest investments a society can make is to foster the health and education of its mothers. Healthy mothers raise healthier children, which boosts the productivity and stability of communities and economies. Yet, maternal mortality remains a terrible and disproportionate reality, particularly in developing countries, where 99 percent of all maternal deaths occur. These deaths put the lives of infants and older children at risk. Traditional approaches address the needs of mothers and children separately, but growing efforts are breaking down those silos — embracing the continuum of mother and child health in the hopes of providing more effective care and resources. The hoped-for result? Health benefits to mothers, children and their families across their lifetimes.

This Forum event explored how to achieve those benefits, including providing basic care such as vaccinations, and how societies stand to thrive as a result.

Part of: .

Presented in Collaboration with The GroundTruth Project and GlobalPost

Image Credit: Kevin Radford/Getty Images

  • MAMA

    Looking forward to the discussion!

    • The Forum Moderator

      We’re so happy that Kirsten Gagnaire of MAMA could join us today as a participant.

      • MAMA

        Thanks for the invite. We are thrilled to be part of the dicussion.

  • The Forum Moderator

    Welcome everyone! We will be starting in a few minutes.

  • The Forum Moderator

    Today, we’ll be talking about the integration of maternal and child health, as well as the importance of healthy mothers in their families and in societies.

  • The Forum Moderator

    Our discussion has begun. Welcome everyone!

  • The Forum Moderator

    This video is from Save the Children and highlights the role of midwives. One of our panelists today, Joy Riggs-Perla, is from Save the Children.

  • The Forum Moderator

    When systems, training and resources are not in place, BOTH mother and child suffer.

  • The Forum Moderator

    When maternal health and child health are separated in a ministry of health, then bridging the needs of both can be challenging.

  • The Forum Moderator

    Bringing programs together to collect equipment and resources helps.

  • The Forum Moderator

    If you think about delivering care from POV of client — and less from providers — then integration of maternal and child care becomes natural.

  • The Forum Moderator

    Death of one woman has many consequences.

  • The Forum Moderator

    Do you have a question for the panelists? Post them here. Or email them to theforum@hsph.harvard.edu.

  • The Forum Moderator

    MAMA maintains a blog at http://www.mobilemamaalliance.org/blog if you are interested in learning more.

  • The Forum Moderator

    This clip is about MAMA’s work in Bangladesh. There the program is called Aponjon.

    • MAMA

      Aponjon means “close, dear one” in Bangla. Our program in India is called mMitra – mitra means friend in Hindi.

      • The Forum Moderator

        Thanks for the clarification. Profound choice of words.

  • The Forum Moderator

    Every Newborn action plan is here: http://www.everynewborn.org/. They are holding a webinar on March 11, 2015.

  • The Forum Moderator

    We need to generate evidence to help move forward the integration of maternal and child health.

  • The Forum Moderator

    An example of fragmentation — the newborns of HIV positive mothers who were receiving interventions to reduce transmission of the virus may not continue to receive treatment if the mother dies.

  • The Forum Moderator

    Our Q&A will begin soon. Do you have a question for the panelists? Post them here. Or email them to theforum@hsph.harvard.edu.

    • Nidhi Vij

      My doctoral dissertation explores how mobile phones can be used to increase awareness about maternal health policies available in rural India where I audio-broadcasted policy messages to women in their local language. One of the challenges I realized was if she does not own a mobile phone, messages are not communicated and often benefits if they are cash incentives are co-opted by the other members in the family. How can we overcome that hurdle?

      • The Forum Moderator

        Thanks for this question. I’ll pass it along.

        • Nidhi Vij

          Thank you for the response!

      • MAMA

        You may be interested in this recent blog about some of MAMA’s male users in South Africa: http://mobilemamaalliance.org/node/839

        • Nidhi Vij

          Thank you, I will definitely have look and really interested in your findings and initiatives taken to address the challenges of ownership, accessibility, usability and communication.

  • Daniel Frayne, MD

    I appreciate the panelists focus on the need to integrate maternal and child health. Even in the US, one of our major struggles is the fragmentation of care and silo’d pediatric and women’s health. As a family physician, I care for women and children and see much opportunity in creating improved systems of dyad care: caring for both a newborn and mother at the same time by the same provider – especially in the first 2 years of life. Our barrier is that our health insurance payment structures do not support this kind of care. Any comments on ways to reform our healthcare payment system to value “family” or “dyad” care?

    • The Forum Moderator

      Great question! Thanks for posting it.

  • The Forum Moderator

    Ana Langer was describing an upcoming conference called Global Maternal Newborn Health Conference from Oct 18-21 in Mexico City.

  • The Forum Moderator

    Long-term flexible funding needed, says Gagnaire.

  • The Forum Moderator

    Progress made with maternal mortality but there are disparities within income quartiles.

  • The Forum Moderator

    Our webcast will end in about a few minutes. We will post the full length video on demand on this website by early next week, as well as on YouTube and iTunesU.

  • The Forum Moderator

    We thank our media collaborator — The GroundTruth Project and GlobalPost

  • The Forum Moderator

    We also thank all of our viewers today and our panelists.

  • The Forum Moderator

    Join us this Tuesday, March 3, 2015, for a Forum discussion on “What Shapes Health” http://theforum.sph.harvard.edu/events/what-shapes-health/