mother and newbornNigeria: Jigawa to Partner USAID On Child, Maternal Health
The Jigawa State government has signed a memorandum of understanding with the United State Agency for International Development (USAID) on child, maternal and reproductive health care service delivery and malaria control in the state.

UN urges Philippines to pass free contraceptives bill
The United Nations has urged the Philippines to pass a bill that will allow the government to provide free contraceptives in order to reduce the maternal mortality rate, which is one of the highest in south-east Asia. However, the bill has met strong opposition from the Catholic church, with opponents saying such a law would corrupt moral values in the country.

Nigeria: FG to Deploy 581 Midwives to Check Maternal, Child Mortality
The Federal Government has lamented the growing child and maternal mortality rate in the country and expressed its readiness to check the incidence. In order to reduce maternal and child mortality through the Primary Health Care Services the Federal Government has said it will deploy 581 midwives to 1000 communities across the country. The government said that Midwives will be deployed to work in 250 general hospitals.

Namibia: Spain Helps Fight Maternal and Child Mortality
Spain has donated N$18 million as part of a project that will see the construction of a maternity ward at the Opuwo State Hospital. Part of the money has already been used to purchase three ambulances that will be used in the area. The Spanish Government has been a major benefactor of the local health sector since 2003, mostly focusing on strengthening regional programmes in the fight against HIV/AIDS, in collaboration with the Spanish NGO "Médicos del Mundo" ("Doctors of the World").

India is the Second-Largest Mobile Phone user in World
India is the second-largest mobile phone user with over 900 million users in the world. Recognising the potential this affords to reach out to people the Government of India has recently taken steps to integrate and enhance existing Health related - IT enabled Systems. For example, a name, address and telephone based Mother and Child Tracking System (MCTS) is a new initiative of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare that provides healthcare and immunisation services to pregnant women and children up to 5 years of age. SMS is also being used to communicate with the 3.2 million Central Government Health Services (CGHS) beneficiaries spread across India.

U.S. health law may curb rising maternal deaths
A new US health care law, the Affordable Care Act, will require insurance providers and Medicaid to cover clinical preventative services for women, including pre-natal care, all without charging a co-pay, co-insurance or a deductible. Under the new guidelines, millions of women will gain access to health care services for free, including well-woman preventative care visits and screenings for gestational diabetes and sexually transmitted infections. The changes are being introduced amid a wealth of data indicating that the number of mothers dying in America during or shortly after pregnancy is consistently growing. The rate of maternal mortality in the United States has more than doubled, rising from 6.6 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1987 to 16. 1 per 100,000 live births in 2009 – the highest among developed nations.

Saving lives with blood and breast milk
To mark National Women’s Month and National Breastfeeding Month in South Africa three major healthcare organisations have together kicked off a national campaign aimed at reducing maternal and child mortality rates. As part of the campaign Open Days are being held at Netcare maternity hospitals around the country in conjunction with the South African Breastmilk Reserve (SABR) and the South African National Blood Service (SANBS). The Open Days aim to raise awareness about the importance of blood donations and breast milk in saving the lives of mothers and babies. In addition 8-12 human breast milk banks will be set up by the public sector by the end of the year. South Africa is one of only 12 countries in the world where infant mortality has been on the rise.

Oxfam Maternal and Infant Mortality Project commended
The Chief and Elders of the Sumbrungu Community in Ghana’s Upper East Region have commended Oxfam Maternal Mortality Project for increasing supervised delivery at health facilities. The project will run until March 2013 and encourages women to attend antenatal visits, to deliver their babies at health facilities, and to ensure that they send their newborns for constant checkups to help curb infant mortality. It has already identified and trained traditional birth attendants (TBAs) and formed Community Health Committees (CHCs) in the project implementation areas.

Dying to Give Life: The Paradox of Childbirth in the Motherland
Akoshia Yoba writes about her recent meeting with Dr. Teguest Guerma, the Director General of AMREF at the national launch of AMREF USA's Global Campaign: Stand Up for African Mothers. The Campaign, which has been initiated in countries around the world including the United Kingdom and France, seeks to mobilise global citizens to support AMREF's basic position that: childbirth should be a joyful experience and "no child should be left an orphan and no mother should have to die to give life."The article includes an interview with Dr Guerma.

Health: SA ranks lowest of Brics members
South Africa’s Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has declared that South Africa fares worse on health than the residents of any other Brics country. Motsoaledi said the number of people who died annually in South Africa almost doubled between 1997 and 2006, going from 317 131 to 612 462. Many of South Africa's poor mortality statistics could be attributed to communicable diseases, especially HIV and tuberculosis.

Liberia: UNFPA's Executive Director Osotimehin Visits President Sirleaf for Discussion On Maternal Mortality, Post-2015 Development Framework - Official 2008 Census Report Presented
Dr. Babatunde Osotimehim, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) recently met President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to discuss issues on maternal mortality. Dr. Osotimehim said there had been progress under Sirleaf’s stewardship regarding maternal mortality, but more needed to be done. He has offered the services of UNFPA's Regional Office to provide technical support and staff time in the crafting of language to do with women's health, their access to services, their empowerment beyond health, and other issues.