October 2, 2012 | The Editors

To save a family, save a mother

Healthy mothers, says Catharine Taylor, have a powerful ripple effect:

“To save a mother is to save a family. And to save a family is to lay the foundation for stronger communities and more stable nations.”

Catharine, who leads our work in maternal and child health and nutrition, wrote those words recently in a blog entry for the Huffington Post.The occasion was the release of a new report from the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children that sets recommendations aimed at getting essential health supplies to the women who need them. (We covered the report’s release on this blog as well.)

Woman in green dress holds a baby swaddled in a white blanket.
Access to essential health supplies can help save lives during childbirth. Photo: PATH/Evelyn Hockstein.

Catharine knows how crucial these medicines and medical equipment can be to saving women’s lives. Experts estimate access to just two inexpensive drugs that help prevent the most common cause of death during childbirth could save 1.4 million lives over ten years, she points out. Wider access to modern contraceptives and family planning services could reduce maternal deaths by a third.

“All the skilled health care workers in the world can’t deliver the care women need if a clinic’s stock is empty and the next round of supplies is weeks away,” Catharine wrote. “Reliable availability of maternal health medicines and supplies will ultimately strengthen health care systems and make frontline health workers more effective.”

Check out the the Huffington Post for more of her thoughts.

For more information

Safeguarding pregnant women with essential medicines

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