Network for Good has two amazing webinars coming up – and (as usual) they are free with registration.*Nonprofit 911: How to Get More Followers on Social Media w/ Guy KawasakiThursday, March 21 at 1 p.m. EasternWhy isn’t your hashtag everywhere? When’s the best time for a Facebook status update? What does it mean when someone +1’s you on Google +? How come no one liked your picture, story, update, tweet, share, friendship, etc? You might be caught a social media slump!Tune in Thursday, March 21 at 1 p.m. Eastern to hear tech and social media expert Guy Kawasaki lead a free presentation giving nonprofits the insider scoop on garnering support via the most popular social media platforms.Register here.Nonprofit 911: The Decisive Organization: Building a Culture of Better Decision-MakingMonday, March 25 at 1 p.m. EasternBest-selling Switch author Dan Heath’s done it again! Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work hits shelves next week. He’s going to stop by and pre-release the most helpful decision-making practices to the Network for Good audience via a Nonprofit 911 webinar on Monday, the 25th at 1 p.m. Eastern. Join Dan Heath as he makes it easier for your organization to make that sound decision. Bonus: Dan will be giving away a free copy of his new book to 10 lucky nonprofits on the call.Register here.*If you can’t make the date for Guy Kawasaki, sign up anyway. You will get a recording of the webinar afterward! Dan Heath’s session is live only, so we won’t be sending recordings.
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on October 1, 2013August 15, 2016Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The MHTF is excited to announce the launch of the first issue of our newsletter, the MHTF Quarterly. Each issue of the Quarterly will highlight critical issue in maternal health, compiling resources, including new and important research, multimedia and news. For the first issue, the Quarterly focuses on malaria in pregnancy.From the Quarterly:Despite encouraging progress, coverage of malaria control efforts among pregnant women remains low. Malaria in pregnancy continues to be a substantial contributor to maternal and infant mortality and morbidity in malaria-endemic regions.Malaria in pregnancy programming is at a critical juncture. Important gains have been made in malaria control, but without continued efforts, the gains achieved may quickly erode.Given the existing synergies and overlap between the malaria and maternal health communities, several opportunities exist to collaborate more effectively. These areas of overlap include the target population (pregnant women), common health outcomes (maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity), and a shared delivery mechanism (the antenatal care platform).To receive the Quarterly or any of our other features, including the biweekly MH Buzz, by email, please sign up using our online form.Share this:
Posted on May 28, 2014November 4, 2016By: Katie Millar, Technical Writer, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)If you have been following the news and our MMR Estimates Blog Series, you know that the WHO and IHME recently released new global estimates for maternal mortality. These estimates have strong implications for global maternal health goals as they will be used as baselines for Post-2015 targets.Dr. Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief at The Lancet, recently addressed a common concern with these estimates—the estimates differ greatly at a regional and country level. Dr. Horton points out, “These differences are not at all obvious when one examines the headline numbers from each source. IHME’s global estimate for maternal deaths is 292,982. The equivalent UN figure is 289,000. But at the regional level, big differences begin to appear.” In fact, 15 of the 75 countries with the highest burden of maternal mortality have estimates that differ by 1,041 to 21,792 maternal deaths. The discrepancy of 21,792 deaths falls on India—the country with the highest number of maternal deaths in the world.For a country that needs to strategize well to address this high burden of disease, India is faced with a discrepancy that could affect how they respond. Dr. Horton says, “[If] you were India’s new Prime-Minister-elect, Narendra Modi, you might just alter the urgency with which you acted to reduce maternal mortality if you believed the UN figure, which records a remarkable 21,792 fewer maternal deaths than the independently calculated estimate from a competing large international collaboration. It would not be unreasonable if other Presidents and Prime Ministers, let alone Ministers of Health, were confused by these often strikingly divergent results.” The discrepancies not only affect the important decisions of country officials, but also affect the credibility of the estimates themselves.So what can be done to address these discrepancies? Dr. Horton suggests reviewing the methods and models used to generate these estimates. “[The] Gates Foundation funded Independent Advisory Committee for the Global Burden of Disease… meets next month in Seattle. One of its remits is to ‘engage in dialogue with other efforts on global health estimates.’ A further goal is to review strengths and weaknesses of the GBD’s methods. But this second objective will solve only half of the problem. Someone also needs to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the UN’s methods. [The Independent Advisory Committee for the Global Burden of Disease] could consider conducting a careful comparison of methods used by both the UN and IHME.”The most important conclusion of this discussion is that country leaders need accurate data to effectively mitigate maternal mortality. As the common management adage teaches us, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” Hopefully with increased collaboration we can bridge the gap between UN and IHME estimates for maternal mortality.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Posted on March 9, 2015October 27, 2016By: Katie Millar, Technical Writer, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)At a standing room only event last week at The Forum at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, global experts gathered to discuss the need for, barriers to, and the way forward for maternal and newborn integration. But what is integration and why is it so desperately needed?Every year approximately 300,000 women and 5.5 million newborns, including stillborns, die needlessly. The causes of these deaths are often similar since the mother and her newborn are inextricably linked both socially and biologically.For the panel, Putting Mothers and Babies First: Benefits Across a Lifetime, Ana Langer, Director of the Maternal Health Task Force; Joy Riggs-Perla, Director of Saving Newborn Lives at Save the Children; Alicia Yamin, Policy Director of the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights and Kirsten Gagnaire, Executive Director of the Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA), presented the health, rights, and technological advantages to integrating maternal and newborn health financing, policies, training, and service delivery.Why is integration important?A woman’s health before conception, during pregnancy, and after her baby is born has a direct impact on the health of her child and the rest of her family. “Biologically the health, the nutritional status, and the well-being of the mother in general strongly influence the chances of survival and well-being of the fetus during pregnancy, the newborn later and even older children,” shared Langer. Since a woman is the primary caretaker of her family, if her health suffers, everyone is affected.Recent research from Dr. Yamin quantifies this impact. In South Africa, Tanzania, Malawi, and Ethiopia, if a mother dies during pregnancy or childbirth, there is a 50-80% chance that her newborn will die before reaching his first birthday. The impact of the death of the mother also reached far into the future. When a mother dies there are higher rates of family dissolution; early drop out of school, especially for girls; and nutritional deficits.What are the challenges to integrating?Although it is easy to see how the health of the mother would directly affect the health of her fetus, newborn and children, integrated care is rarely seen. Maternal health, newborn health, and child health are siloed as separate initiatives across the health care spectrum: from the policy, donor, financing and monitoring levels to the academic, health system, program and NGO levels. But these problems are seen beyond the program and country level. These “challenges also happen at the global level, failing to provide an enabling environment for those changes at the country level to happen. So too often, we see that different initiatives are either targeted to mothers or to babies and don’t make a good enough effort to bring them closer together,” shared Langer.Divisions in providing maternal and newborn health include separate pre-service training in maternal and newborn health for health care workers, rare HIV-testing and treatment of an infant if the HIV-positive mom dies in childbirth and separate global initiatives, among many others. These persistent separations have created a dearth of evidence of how best to implement integrated maternal and newborn care.Key areas that remain segregated are ministries of health and data collection systems. Joy Riggs-Perla shared that “there’s often a separation [of maternal and newborn health] organizationally in a Ministry of Health… That can cause problems with program coordination. It can cause problems where one or the other gets more or less emphasis. And so that can actually lead to problems in service delivery.” In addition, Riggs-Perla addressed the crucial need to collect data on both mothers and newborns so that programs and health systems recognize and synchronize their approaches to improve health outcomes along the continuum of care. “I think the bottom line in all of this is that if people think about care from a client-centered perspective, or a client-oriented perspective, you naturally come to the continuum of care. And that helps solve some of these problems. Too many of our health services are organized at the convenience of the providers,” concluded Riggs-Perla.An additional barrier to integration may be societal discrimination. “Ultimately maternal mortality is the culmination of layers of structural, and discrimination, and exclusion that women face in society. And often women and children face or experience their poverty and marginalization through their context with indifferent and dysfunctional health systems,” shared Yamin.How to break silosIn order to provide comprehensive care that benefits both the woman and her child, current silos in maternal and newborn health need to dissolve.MAMA is working to bring integrated information to pregnant women and mothers precisely when they need it. Through mobile technology, both text and voice messages are used to provide timed and targeted information during pregnancy through their child’s third birthday. These messages are specific to the local context and language and include a wide range of information from nutrition during pregnancy and breastfeeding to cognitive development and immunizations for their children.Another programmatic example is from the TSHIP project in Nigeria, where misoprostol and chlorhexidine are now distributed together by community health workers: misoprostol to prevent postpartum hemorrhage in women and chlorhexidine to prevent umbilical cord infection in newborns.The panel provided many potential solutions to the chasm in maternal and newborn health:Integrated national costed plans of action: “[Integration is] very, very difficult if it doesn’t start at the beginning: once budgets are separated, programs are designed, job descriptions are formed” and integration is nearly impossible – Yamin.Integrated pre-service training of health care providersIntegrated performance and health outcome indicatorsExcluding initiatives that are narrow, categorical and verticalInitiatives that strengthen health systemsPrograms that allow for flexibility and learning, both in activities and fundingDiverse partnerships: “We are increasingly finding ourselves needing to work in a partnership way: in public-private partnerships, bringing in UN agencies, bringing in the host country governments, bringing in bilateral funders, foundations and [the] corporate It takes a tremendous amount of aligning of agendas and understanding how each of these different sectors and entities works, and what their perspectives are. [But,] ultimately I think we get better results from it.” – GagnaireWhile these strategies are promising, there is still a lack of research on integration and so information exchange is key. In order to address this need, Dr. Langer shared news of the upcoming Global Maternal Newborn Health Conference, which will “provide a space for information exchange, for productive debate and for discussion about maternal and newborn health and how to bring it closer together.”For more details from this event, continue to follow our blog this week to hear more details from Joy Riggs-Perla, Alicia Yamin, Kristen Gagnaire, and Ana Langer. Also, to learn more about integration, check out our MNH Integration Blog Series.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
We all know that saying thank you is good etiquette. Timely thank yous for donor gifts are expected, as they should be. With just a little extra thought, your thank yous can make a meaningful impact and truly delight donors. And there’s no time like the new year to refine your donor thank you process. Let’s explore seven best practices for creating donor thank yous that generate warmth and a sense of teamwork.1) Say Thank You Within a Week of Receiving a GiftInclude a simple “Thank you for your donation!” with your gift receipt, followed by a more detailed thank you letter or email. If you can, send your thank you within 24 hours of receiving the donation, but definitely within one week of receiving a gift. Whether your first detailed thank you comes in the form of a snail mail letter or an email will depend on how your donors prefer to receive communications. Either way, don’t delay sending this thank you, or you’ll risk donors feeling unappreciated.2) Send From a Recognizable NameYou don’t want donors to miss your email because it gets mistaken for spam. Send your emails from a recognizable member of your staff, such as your executive or development director. You can set this name in the email blast templates in your donor management system so thank yous will always come from the same person. This way, donors will be able to identify the email as yours. Plus, sending from someone higher up in the organization will also make donors feel valued.3) Make Your Subject Line SpecificLet donors know even before opening the email that you’re communicating gratitude. Including words like “thank you,” “grateful,” or “gratitude” in the subject line lets donors immediately identify the email as an expression of thanks. This will also help your thank yous stand out from the other emails you send your supporters.4) Keep the Focus on the DonorKeep the attention on the donors and their gifts, rather than focusing on your organization. Donors should feel they are an integral part of your team, not just a source of money. Use “you” and “your” frequently, and make sure that you always include your donor in any “we” statements.5) Acknowledge Previous GiftsLet regular donors know that you haven’t forgotten previous gifts. Include a brief line mentioning donations given in the past and that you value their ongoing partnership. This will make your thank you more personal and cause donors to feel like a true member of your team.6) Share the Impact of the GiftThank yous should be inspirational, giving donors a feeling of accomplishment. For thank yous sent immediately after a donation is given, remind the donor what’s planned for their gift. After the project or campaign is finished, share the results of how you used the gift. Although the work is never done, taking time to celebrate the impact that the donor’s gift made is motivational and may even result in another gift. Tell an impact story or include a testimonial from a community member.7) Say Thank You More Than OnceIt’s nearly impossible to say thank you too much. Donors will especially value thank yous sent on the anniversary of a large or first gift, on meaningful holidays, after a vital year-end campaign, and along with project updates.Thank yous are one of the most important communications your organization sends to donors. They can make donors feel a part of your team and part of the important work you’re accomplishing together. They can also inspire donors and motivate them to continue their support.Want more ideas on how to create meaningful thank yous? Read 10 Creative Ways to Thank Donors to learn what makes a thank you effective, what to avoid in a thank you, and when to say thank you.Read more on The Nonprofit Blog
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on September 16, 2015June 12, 2017By: Lindsay Grenier, Maternal Health Technical Advisor, MCSP ; Susan Moffson, MCSP Senior Program OfficerClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)This post has been slightly edited from it’s original posting on the blog of the Maternal and Child Survival Program.A young woman arrived at a health clinic in Sierra Leone with heavy bleeding. She was suffering from postpartum hemorrhage (PPH)—or excessive bleeding after birth—the most common cause of death for women after delivery.The midwife at the clinic acted quickly, administering oxytocin, a uterotonic that helps the uterus contract to stop the bleeding. However, the facility was lacking the refrigeration needed to properly store the drug, which was also two years out of date. As a result, the oxytocin had no effect, and the woman died two hours later.Mother and newborn in Allahabad, India. (Kate Holt/MCHIP)Tragically, poor and marginalized populations suffering from a disproportionate burden of disease often have the least access to high-quality health services. This is especially true of women during childbirth, who often deliver at home instead of health facilities. Those women who do make it to a facility may find them ill-equipped, lacking skilled personnel and essential medicines. Or, as in the case of the young woman from Sierra Leone, the medicines may be expired and improperly stored, thereby greatly diminishing their effectiveness.Alarmingly, all of these women will be at risk of dying from PPH without access to uterotonics. And while oxytocin is the gold standard for preventing and treating PPH, it is not always available or kept sufficiently cool. It must also be given through injection by a skilled birth attendant, such as a doctor or nurse.Thankfully, there is a second-line uterotonic drug that can be used to prevent and treat PPH when oxytocin is not available: misoprostol. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently added misoprostol — which does not require refrigeration and can be taken as a pill — to the Essential Medicines List for treatment of PPH in every country. This action expands the range of options to treat PPH, empowering health care workers with one more tool in their arsenal to fight bleeding after birth.As professionals who work every day around the world to ensure our interventions reach the most vulnerable populations, and understand the endorsement of misoprostol means more equitable access to and appropriate use of uteronics for countless women across the developing world.The WHO announcement opens an exciting new chapter in global health. While much work remains before every facility can guarantee a stable stock of viable oxytocin, the endorsement of misoprostol for the treatment of PPH will increase the availability of lifesaving care for some of the world’s most vulnerable women.As part of our own comprehensive PPH strategy, MCSP continues to strengthen essential health system functions, with the goal of overcoming local system barriers to provision of high-quality care, effective referral systems, and trained providers.Share this:
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on May 4, 2016October 12, 2016By: Jacquelyn Caglia, Associate Director, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)As we celebrate International Day of the Midwife on May 5th, now is an especially important time to acknowledge midwives for their hard work in ensuring the health of women and newborns before, during, and after childbirth. The theme for 2016 is “Women and Newborns: The Heart of Midwifery.” We’ve rounded up some of our favorite resources about midwifery around the world:The State of the World’s Midwifery 2014: A Universal Pathway. A Woman’s Right to HealthThis report by UNFPA, the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), WHO, and others is the most up-to-date resource we have on the world’s midwifery workforce. The report, available in English, French, and Spanish, provides key resources about the critical role midwives play in the health system in more than 70 low- and middle-income countries as well as a fact sheet with key messages and a compelling infographic highlighting quality and impact.The Lancet Series on MidwiferyAlso in 2014, The Lancet published a groundbreaking series of papers on the vital contributions midwives make to ensuring high-quality health services for women and newborns. The executive summary of the series provides an overview of the four main papers, key messages, and the evidence-informed framework for maternal and newborn care.Call the Midwife: A Conversation About the Rising Global Midwifery MovementLast March, we hosted a day-long symposium about midwifery with our partners from the Wilson Center and UNFPA. The expert speakers represented a diversity of country perspectives and shared evidence needed to build the case for scaling up midwifery. A summary of the rich discussion was published on our blog; video recordings and archived presentations from the expert speakers are available through the Wilson Center.Bill of Rights for Women and MidwivesThis resource from the ICM lays out the basic human rights for women and midwives across the globe, providing a helpful reminder of the core ethics and competencies we should all be striving to uphold in support of women, newborns, and midwives.Advocacy Approaches to Promote Midwives and the Profession of MidwiferyThis policy brief from the White Ribbon Alliance sheds light on how to influence policymakers, involve the media, engage youth, and mobilize communities in support of midwifery while also strengthening the capacity of midwives as advocates.What Prevents Quality Midwifery Care?This article, published this week in PLOS ONE, systematically maps out the social, economic and professional barriers to quality of care in low- and middle-income countries from the provider perspective. The authors’ findings underscore the need for a gender-responsive, equity-driven and human rights-based approach to strengthening midwifery, as called for in the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescent’s Health. In order to meet the health-related Sustainable Development Goals, we must improve the experience of those in the midwifery profession as well as the quality of health services they provide.Do you have any other resources on midwifery that you’d like to recommend? If so, email us at email@example.com. We’d love to hear from you!Please join us in celebrating the International Day of the Midwife! More information about the campaign may be found on the International Confederation of Midwives‘ website. Follow along on Twitter by using #IDM2016.Read an interview with Rima Jolivet, our Maternal Health Technical Director, on the current and future landscape of midwifery!Share this:
Posted on December 14, 2016January 6, 2017By: Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Last week, the Women and Health Initiative at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health welcomed Saki Onda to speak about a vulnerable, understudied population: female sex workers (FSWs) and their children. Much of the global health research and programming efforts thus far have focused primarily on the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and HIV in particular, among this population. The HIV infection risk is approximately thirteen times higher among FSWs compared to the general population. A number of factors put sex workers at greater risk of contracting STIs, including a lack of access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education and increased exposure to violence.The issue of maternal mortality and morbidity among FSWs has been widely neglected in the public health literature. Along with colleagues Brian Willis and Hanni Marie Stoklosa, Saki recently published an article in BMC Public Health titled, “Causes of maternal and child mortality among Cambodian sex workers and their children: A cross sectional study.” The researchers interviewed 271 FSWs in Cambodia to explore the causes of maternal and child deaths. This was the first study examining these outcomes among sex workers.The authors found distinct differences between the causes of maternal mortality among FSWs compared to non-FSWs: While postpartum hemorrhage and pre-eclampsia were the most common causes of maternal deaths in the general population, complications from abortion were the leading cause of maternal death among FSWs. The most common causes of death for children under 5 were HIV and infection among FSWs compared to prematurity and acute lower respiratory tract infections in the general population. While the results cannot be generalized because of the study design’s limitations, these preliminary findings warrant further investigation in different global settings using more robust methodology.The FSWs who participated in the study reported experiences of disrespect and abuse from healthcare workers. One woman in Paraguay explained, “The majority of sex workers do not want to go for antenatal care because doctors do not treat them well because they are sex workers.” A woman in Uganda told the researchers that a nurse once told her, “You prostitutes go aside and we will treat the respectable people.” Especially in settings where sex work is illegal, FSWs may fear seeking care and disclosing their occupation to providers.Given the vulnerability of FSWs and their children, increased global efforts to understand and address their sexual, reproductive and maternal health needs are critical. According to Saki, these efforts should involve a rights-based, evidence-informed approach, community engagement, comprehensive health services and a focus on ending stigma and discrimination.—Explore resources on maternal health, HIV and AIDS.Are you working on a project related to the health of female sex workers? Tell us about it!Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: