MSD launches initiative to decrease pregnant women mortality

MSD for Mothers, a 10-year old initiative by Merck Sharp and Dohme(MSD) to reduce number of women dying during pregnancy and childbirth, has committed US $10 million for improving access to maternal health services


(L-R) Dr Sudhir Maknikar, senior technical advisor (FP-MNCH), Mr KG Ananthkrishnan, MD, MSD India and Mrs Mamta Sharma, chairperson, National Commission for Women, Ms Priya Agrawal, executive director, MSD for Mothers and Dr Aparajitta Gogoi, executive director, WRA India at the MSD for Mothers launch in New Delhi

MSD for Mothers has launched its global initiative for helping reduce maternal mortality in India. It has partnered with three leading non-governmental organizations to improve the quality of healthcare that pregnant women in India receive through the private sector. The Hindustan Latex Family Planning Promotion Trust (HLFPPT), Pathfinder International with World Health Partners (Pathfinder), and the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood with Gram Vaani (WRA) together will reach nearly 500,000 pregnant women in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Jharkhand - areas with some of the highest rates of maternal mortality in the country. The anouncement to this effect was made on May 14, 2013 at New Delhi.

MSD for Mothers is a 10-year, US $500 million global initiative launched in 2011 by Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD), known as Merck in the United States and Canada, to help create a world where no woman dies from complications of pregnancy and childbirth.

"We have made great strides towards Millennium Development Goal 5, but we know there's more work to do to reach that target," Mrs Mamta Sharma, chairperson, National Commission for Women said speaking at the India launch. "These new partnerships demonstrate innovative ways of working together to address this issue and bring India closer to our goal."

Most care in India is provided by the private sector, which includes a diverse array of independent physicians, nurses, and midwives as well as clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, and health insurers. Additionally, private care is often supported by ambulance services, mobile service providers, and financial institutions.

"Maternal mortality is one of the oldest and most preventable health tragedies in the world today. While India has made progress in addressing this, there is still a lot that can be done collectively by the Government, NGOs and the private sector," said Mr Naveen Rao, MD, lead, MSD for Mothers. "Our focus in India is to work with partners who have the capability to improve maternal health care services delivered through the private sector and ultimately decrease the number of women still dying during pregnancy and childbirth."


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