The Global Maternal Newborn Health Conference 2015 will take place in New Mexico City from October 18 – 20, 2015. This is a global forum highlighting the most urgent health needs of mothers and newborns around the world. The forum focuses on quality of medical care, integration of all maternal-child health services, equity in access and sustainability. But most importantly, this event elucidates how we as a professional community can respond to these defined areas of need. These are similar to the objectives of the ICS fistula committee: to provide a global platform for discussion of issues around the prevention, treatment and post-surgical management of women with obstetric fistula.
The conference will be collaboration between me and fourteen colleagues from around the world. Our professional endeavours cover all areas of maternal and newborn health including public health, nursing, obstetrics, paediatrics and administration. This is a great opportunity to showcase the work that ICS does in the field of incontinence and maternal health.
There are six themes to this conference:
Innovating to accelerate impact on scalable programs and associated aspects of programs to address problems in integrated pathways in maternal newborn health.
Looking at performance indicators in monitoring and evaluation processes when addressing critical gaps in the maternal newborn evidence base. The idea is also to look at accountability issues in this arena.
Bridging the equity divide in research, program policies and technical advocacy in providing safe, effective and accessible care for all women and newborns. Perhaps this is the most difficult area to address.
Generating new evidence to fill the critical knowledgeable gaps in maternal new born health, particularly in integrated service delivery and quality of care.
Strengthening the demand for health care which will focus on evidence, approaches and experiences to strengthen communities, families and women’s decision-making capacity and demand for quality health care.
Increasing health systems capacity to respond to the populations need in effective delivery and care to all mothers and newborns, but to also look at innovative ways to improve health systems management in under-resourced settings.
In keeping with these themes, it is quite clear that obstetric trauma and fistulas will feature heavily. Other associated cultural and social issues that affect women and girls, such as female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage, will also be addressed. Increasingly the association between obstetric fistula and these arenas are being linked in national and international health forums. Without addressing all three issues together, it is unlikely that long term and sustainable solutions can be found.
The ICS, through the Fistula Committee, will have a presence at the GMNH Conference 2015. Fistula Committee representatives will discuss the prevention and treatment of obstetric fistula, improvement of health systems for women in underserved areas of the world, enhancement of access to health care, improvement in networking with colleagues in under-resourced settings, and collaboration with other global organizations.
The meeting is being sponsored and supported by the following organizations: Maternal Health Task Force, Save the Children, USAID, Maternal and Child Survival Programme, SALUD, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Carlos Slim Fundacion, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Jhpiego, Merck for Mothers, Pan American Health Organization, World Health Organization, The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, UNDPA, UNICEF and Women Deliver.
For more information: http://www.globalmnh2015.org/
Article by Suzy ElNeil on behalf of the Fistula Committee