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COVID-19: How We’re Responding

Our Work

Today we honor the legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. & his tireless efforts to advance civil rights and social justice.

EngenderHealth is committed to advancing gender equality in & through its sexual & reproductive health and rights programming.

Although #Tanzania recently lifted the ban on adolescent mothers in school, girls still do not have a guaranteed right to education. Country Rep @MasakoPrudence shares her recommendations for how Tanzania can make education accessible & inclusive.
http://ow.ly/Hzs750Hu9Bv

While child marriage still disproportionately impacts girls, UNICEF estimates that 115 million boys and men around the world were married as children.
http://ow.ly/g6jw50Hu4sy

So proud of @EngenderHealth for incorporating gender analysis and DNH into our work, including our work on safe surgery/fistula. Great leadership on our analysis framework by @renugolwalkar. We are always happy to share and discuss - reach out if you would like to engage on this! https://twitter.com/EngenderHealth/status/1479483194550497283

Although Mexico’s Supreme Court effectively decriminalized abortion last year, abortion rights are still not guaranteed across the country. Marea Verde, a collective of feminists, is working to change that. #AbortionRights #Mexico
http://ow.ly/3f4450Hsach

#MaternalMentalHealthMatters! It’s a human rights and health equity issue.

This new analysis from MOMENTUM Country and Global Leadership shows the need for #MentalHealth services for women before, during, and after birth 🤰🏽 🤱🏽 https://bit.ly/3q9KK6Q

It’s estimated that 100s of thousands of women & girls are still living with #fistula. We’ve been working to #endfistula for over 15 years, including supporting over 45,200 fistula repairs & training for over 370 surgeons & 34,800 other healthcare workers.
http://ow.ly/9gC650Hp82W

MOMENTUM Safe Surgery in Family Planning & Obstetrics utilizes our GYSI Analysis Framework & Toolkit and Do No Harm Framework to integrate #gender into its work. Learn more about how @USAID_MOMENTUM includes gender in its programs in a new brief.

http://ow.ly/xoHN50Hp6MG

Starting this month, Seychelles will make menstrual products available for free in secondary schools. 🙌
#MenstrualEquity
http://ow.ly/br8150Ho0Z2

This month we’re highlighting how EngenderHealth works with and through governments and communities to strengthen health systems to be more resilient, sustainable, and equitable.

Learn more about our approach to health systems strengthening ➡️ http://ow.ly/6pRG50HmoZA

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Eclampsia and Pre-Eclampsia

Giving birth should be a time for celebration, but for more than half a million women each year—one every 90 seconds—pregnancy and childbirth end in death and mourning. Ninety-nine percent of these deaths occur in developing countries, and nearly all are preventable.

One of the leading causes of maternal death is pre-eclampsia—the rapid elevation of blood pressure during pregnancy—which, if untreated, can lead to seizures (eclampsia), kidney and liver damage, and ultimately, death. Eclampsia and severe pre-eclampsia claim the lives of an estimated 63,000 women each year, as well as the lives of many of their babies.  

A Ready Solution
The World Health Organization recognizes and recommends injectable magnesium sulfate—also known as Epsom salts—as the safest, most effective, and lowest-cost medication for treating pre-eclampsia and eclampsia. Magnesium sulfate is the standard treatment for these conditions in the developed world and has been for 20 years. Less-effective and riskier medications (such as diazepam and phenytoin), however, are still widely used in developing countries—if any treatment is available at all.

 

OUR COMMITMENT
We commit to reducing maternal mortality with magnesium sulfate in India, Mexico, and Nigeria. Through training, advocacy, and education, we will increase access to the lifesaving treatment for pre-eclampsia and eclampsia, leading causes of maternal mortality.

 

 

Clinton Global Initiative Commitment
This disparity must end. EngenderHealth, the University of Oxford, and the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation are making a joint commitment as part of the Clinton Global Initiative to expand access to magnesium sulfate by:

  • Training health professionals through web-based interactive programs on when and how to administer magnesium sulfate
  • Advocating for magnesium sulfate to be part of every developing country’s list of essential drugs
  • Helping develop and/or reinforce national protocols mandating magnesium sulfate as the preferred treatment for pre-eclampsia and eclampsia
  • Ensuring the availability of magnesium sulfate in hospitals

Call to Action
In 2007, EngenderHealth and the University of Oxford brought together leading scientists, advocates, researchers, and representatives of the WHO, UNICEF, United Nations agencies, and national ministries of health from around the world to identify barriers to the availability and use of magnesium sulfate to treat pre-eclampsia and eclampsia. This historic gathering of global public health experts identified the primary barriers to be a lack of national guidelines, a shortage of educated and trained health care professionals, and scarce supplies of magnesium sulfate.

Based on these conclusions, EngenderHealth and the University of Oxford developed a “Call to Action” and report that called on policy makers and ministers of health to make pre-eclampsia and eclampsia a higher priority and to set national guidelines for treatment and care based on WHO guidelines. Decision makers and international and national health organizations and agencies were also urged to help make magnesium sulfate more available and affordable.

The full report, Balancing the Scales: Expanding Treatment for Pregnant Women with Life-Threatening Hypertensive Conditions in Developing Countries, is available for download (PDF, 316KB), as is the International Call to Action (PDF, 27KB).

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