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Preventing Maternal and Child Deaths

A country’s journey to self-reliance for preventing maternal and child deaths requires strong pharmaceutical systems that ensure continuous access to lifesaving treatments.

Countries have made significant progress in reducing maternal and child mortality rates, but few met the 2015 Millennium Development Goals. Meeting the more aggressive Sustainable Development Goals’ maternal, newborn, and child mortality targets will require a systems-strengthening approach; however, a large proportion of deaths could be avoided if women and children had access to quality medicines and supplies and skilled health care providers.

Global initiatives such as the Every Woman Every Child movement aim to improve the lives and health of women and children, and USAID has renewed its commitment to ending preventable maternal and child deaths by setting targets to save the lives of 15 million children and 600,000 women by 2020 and tracking progress in its Acting on the Call reports. However, lifesaving maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) medicines, equipment, and supplies are often left off country agendas, and policy and systems factors that facilitate their access are often not in place. Without reliable access to medical products, such as oxytocin for postpartum hemorrhage, antibiotics and oxygen for childhood pneumonia, and oral rehydration solution and zinc for childhood diarrhea, preventable deaths will continue.

In recognition of the need to act, MTaPS supports USAID’s commitment by working to highlight the importance of MNCH medical products and services, raising awareness of the barriers to their access, and providing technical assistance to reducing these barriers at both the global and country levels.

MTaPS has developed different resources to help countries strengthen pharmaceutical systems to improve access to and use of quality medical products to improve maternal and child health in a number of different areas:

Streamlining registration of MNCH medical products
Procurement of MNCH medical products
Engaging civil society
Improving access to and use of amoxicillin
Pharmaceutical Systems Strengthening

For more information on how MTaPS supports countries to strengthen pharmaceutical systems for improved MNCH health outcomes, download the MTaPS MNCH factsheet.

For more information, contact:
Senior Principal Technical Advisor
Jane Briggs
[email protected]