mnch newsTo combat 'silent killers', India to conduct survey
India is undertaking a survey on lifestyle trends to collect data on people suffering from noncommunicable diseases like diabetes and cardio-vascular diseases. The aim is to find a solution to combat these ‘silent killers’ which, according to the World Health Organisation, will account for 67% of all deaths in India by 2030. The states surveyed account for around 50% of the country's population and have the highest number of infant and maternal mortality rates put together.

Kaduna NMA Pledges Support For Maternal, Child Healthcare Programme
The Kaduna State Chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association has expressed its support for the implementation of the maternal and child health care programme. Dr Solomon Avidime, the state Chairman of the association, commended the political will demonstrated by Gov. Patrick Yakowa in providing free and qualitative health care services, though said there was still more to be done. Avidime earlier announced that the association would offer free medical services to cover various diseases and operation, admission and provision of drugs for different ailments.

Angola: Government's Commitment to Improving Health Services Reiterated
Angola’s Health minister, José Van-Dúnem, has announced the government’s commitment to improving health services, particularly for women and children.

Guidance on maternal mental health issued
The UK Department of Health has announced new guidance regarding common issues linked to maternal health and wellbeing, revealing a maternal mental health pathway that focuses on a number of factors mothers face from pregnancy through to the early months of their child's life. The pathway details the benefits of using professionals such as health visitors and GPs as they aim to work together and deliver an integrated approach to provide the best service to mothers.

Non-Catholic groups recognize value of RH bill to maternal health
Not all religious leaders are against the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill in the Phillipines. Protestant Bishop Modesto Villasanta has argued that the RH bill can help families to plan and access maternal and child health services. He said the bill also promotes gender equality, male responsibility and an end to violence against women.

Tanzania still far off course on UN health targets
UNDP Tanzania reports that progress towards reducing maternal deaths during childbirth continues to be slow despite the fact that most health risks to mothers and their children can be managed. The article highlights the role of Italian non-profit organisation Cuamm in helping African countries to meet the MDGs. Cuamm has offices in Angola, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda and South Sudan and is currently undertaking a European Union project worth €1.24m to reinforce the capacity of district managers and civil society organisations to retain competent healthcare personnel.

Uganda: Government Sued Over Maternal Healthcare
Led by the Kampala-based Centre for Health, Human Rights and Development, A coalition of more than 50 civil society groups in Uganda wants the Supreme Court to declare the high rate of maternal deaths are a breach of basic rights. The groups hope that such a declaration could shame the government into taking positive action.

Maternal Obesity Ups Early Neonatal Mortality in Africa
One of the first studies of its kind to investigate the effects of obesity in sub-Saharan African has found that obesity is linked to increased rates of early neonatal mortality.

MaterCare International seeks support for maternal rights charter
Catholic organisation, MaterCare International, has drafted a "Charter of Maternal Rights" it hopes will be adopted by leaders and decision makers around the world to raise the priority of mothers and their children and help stem the high number of maternal deaths. The charter focuses on the human rights of mothers, the delivery of maternal health care and necessary actions by obstetricians and midwives to provide adequate health care.

Kenya: New Technology to Improve Maternal Health Care at KNH
Kenyatta National Hospital has partnered with Colorado University to improve maternal health care. The project, the first of its kind, will use a pen technology called partopen system, which will improve the quality of care provided to expectant mothers. The university has donated 20 pens, which will be used in the labour ward.

In Sierra Leone, First Lady Boosts Koidu Government Hospital
As part of her campaign to reduce maternal mortality in Sierra Leone the First Lady, Mrs. Sia Nyama Koroma, has handed over medical equipment and accessories, baby packs and solar lights to the Koidu Government Hospital in Kono in the East of the country. The First Lady used the forum to appeal to pregnant women to go to hospitals for safe delivery and to lactating mothers to engage in exclusive breastfeeding of their babies and to take them to hospitals whenever they are sick.

Maternal mortality 'a priority in Lagos State’
The Health Service Commission in Lagos State, Nigeria has insisted it is taking steps to save the lives of women during childbirth. According to Victoria Oloruntegbe, acting director of nursing services at the organisation, world-class maternal and newborn health centres have been set up in the region.

CNBC Africa screens Philips 'The African Dialogues'
CNBC Africa will be screening the first episode of a new series called 'The African Dialogues', a discussion of issues and topics impacting society and business in Africa. The first dialogue touches on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5, which targets the reduction of the rate of child mortality rates and improving maternal health.

Malawi gets K8.4bn from Norway for health sector
Malawi and the Norwegian Government have signed a bilateral agreement of 180 million Norwegian Kroner which will cater for the Health Sector Strategic Plan for 3 consecutive years.

Addressing disparities in maternal health care in Pakistan: gender, class and exclusion
A study has been published which investigates the root causes of disparities in maternal health care. Using Pakistan as a case study the report investigates how gender and class influence policy formulation and the design and delivery of maternal health care services.

Is monetary incentive for maternal health the answer?
This article raises questions about the Nigerian government’s SURE-P MCH programme including whether using financial incentives to increase the number of women delivering at hospitals is sustainable. 

Funding Should be Conditional for Better Maternal Health in Philippines
A woman’s group in the Philippines claims that a nationwide conditional cash transfer programme is slowly improving maternal health, but more is needed as the maternal death rate continues to climb. Five-year conditional cash transfers (CCTs) were first rolled out the Philippines in 2007 as a pilot programme to cut poverty by supporting 5.2 million of the poorest households with pregnant women and children aged 0-14. The success of the initiative has been based on the fact that beneficiaries must meet certain health and education goals, meaning that more women are receiving prenatal check-ups and giving birth in a health facility instead of using a traditional birth attendant. The cash transfer is also conditional on proof that children receive regular paediatric check-ups and that school-aged children are attending at least 85 per cent of their classes.