Maternal Health Task Force
EngenderHealth coordinates the Maternal Health Task Force, which contributes to shaping collective efforts to improve maternal health worldwide. Supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Task Force serves as a catalyst to address one of the most neglected areas in global health.
Maternal morbidity and mortality rates remain unacceptably high across the developing world. Every minute, a woman dies from complications related to childbirth or pregnancy. While most maternal deaths are preventable, poor health services and scarce resources limit women’s access to life-saving, high-quality care. Although there have been some notable advances, efforts to adequately address maternal health remain fragmented, and the political will remains insufficient to effectively tackle the issues.
Recognizing that real progress requires better coordination and increased global attention, EngenderHealth brings together existing maternal health networks and engages new organizations to facilitate global coordination of maternal health programs. The Task Force does not duplicate or replace existing projects, but plays a complementary role by convening stakeholders and creating an inclusive setting to engage in dialogue, build consensus, and share information.
The Task Force provides a new forum dedicated specifically to maternal health, while reaching out to leaders from allied fields—including neonatal and child health, reproductive health, human rights, and HIV/AIDS—to devise innovative solutions to maternal morbidity and mortality. As a key component of the initiative, partners in developing countries play a central role in setting the agenda. The Task Force works very closely with the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and other critical partners in this field.