September 23, 2013 | The Editors

The power to save millions of lives

Smiling mother holds a swaddled infant in her arms.
Blessing Kingsley holds her four-day-old daughter, Great. Photo: PATH/Evelyn Hockstein.

It’s no secret in global health: we already know how to save the lives of women and children. We have at hand innovations that target the leading killers of mothers and their babies—innovations that could help us meet Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5, which call for a marked decrease in maternal and child deaths by 2015.

Smiling woman holds twin infants on her lap.
Photo: PATH/Evelyn Hockstein.

What we need now are the global partnerships, financial commitments, and political will to deliver these high-impact, low-cost solutions to health care workers and families everywhere.

Breakthrough innovations, better lives

Today, PATH, along with partners including the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the MDG Health Alliance, and the United Nations Foundation, is releasing a publication called Breakthrough Innovations That Can Save Women and Children Now. The publication introduces ten innovations—from products to systems approaches—that could have immediate impact in saving lives.  Each is low-cost, effective, and sustainable.

If we made a majority of these innovations widely available now, they could save more than 1.2 million women, newborns, and children by the end of 2015. Pair them with other interventions currently available and in development, and we have the power to save millions more lives.

Three ways to save moms and babies

For example, magnesium sulfate is the most effective drug to prevent and treat life-threatening pregnancy complications caused by high blood pressure. Simplifying dosing and improving modes of administration would give more poor women access to this lifesaving drug.

Similarly, ROTAVAC® is a new vaccine that protects children from the leading cause of deadly diarrhea. If widely available, the vaccine could save thousands of children each year—at the cost of only US$1 a dose.

And a program called Helping Babies Breathe uses innovative teaching tools to train health care workers and birth attendants how to resuscitate infants. In Tanzania, the initiative has reduced newborn mortality by as much as 47 percent.

Help us get the message out

But bright ideas and innovative technologies alone won’t save lives. This week, PATH’s leaders are at the UN General Assembly along with other key global health innovators and policymakers. We’re committed to gathering support so we can deliver solutions to the world’s women and children—and at the same time deliver on the promise of the Millennium Development Goals.

At PATH, we’re transforming health through innovations like these. We can achieve a lasting impact only with the support of world leaders—and to get that, we need your support. Help us send the message that we can save women and children with innovations available right now. Join the conversation with @PATHadvocacy and @PATHtweets on Twitter and follow PATH on Facebook as we engage in the #innovations2015 conversation this week.

More information

Posted in: , , , ,