The Women Deliver conference on global maternal mortality in London has just concluded. The conference called for increased funding and political commitment to decreasing maternal mortality.
A consensus “three pillars” were deemed essential for saving the lives of mothers and their newborns: comprehensive reproductive health services, skilled prenatal and obstetric care, and availability of emergency care. Conferees agreed that strengthening these pillars requires more (and more accountable) funding; closer synergies with HIV, education and rights; and a global movement to”deliver” for women and newborns. The organizers pledged to have another meeting within two years to check on progress toward these goals
Representatives from 32 countries, including the Feminist Majority Foundation, attended the conference. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent a delegation of six U.S. congresswomen: Lois Capps (D-CA), Hilda Solis (D-CA), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Donna Christensen (D-VI), Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Candice Miller (R-MI). The gathering was designed to focus attention on reducing the planet”s 500,000 annual deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth, and meeting Millenium Development Goal 5“reducing by three-quarters the maternal mortality ratio.