The EngenderHealth News Blog
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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Revitalizing the Partograph to Prevent Fistula in Uganda

Jenny Nalukwago of Uganda became pregnant when she was 16. But after spending more than 48 hours in labor, Jenny lost her baby because the health clinic couldn't provide the care she needed. After the harrowing ordeal, Jenny also discovered she was leaking urine. She had developed fistula, a heartwrenching condition that often forces women into lives of isolation and malnourishment.

With quality and timely maternal health care, fistula is preventable. Today, we have a simple tool—the partograph—that can easily help prevent needless maternal deaths and injuries. But as EngenderHealth's Fistula Care team learned last year, the partograph was not being used in Ugandan health facilities.

Read more to find out what the partograph can do to help prevent fistula for millions of other women like Jenny.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Rising Maternal Mortality in Argentina

Maternal deaths are on the rise in Argentina, with mortality ratios tripling that of neighboring countries Chile and Uruguay. Many of the deaths are the result of complications from unsafe abortion.

According to the Argentina National Ministry of Health, the maternal mortality ratio reached 55 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2009—up from 44 per 100,000 live births the year before. For Argentina, achieving Millennium Development Goal No. 5 (Improving Maternal Health) would mean reducing the mortality ratio to 13 deaths per 100,000 live births by 2015.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of women die during pregnancy or in childbirth. Thirteen percent of these deaths result from complications of an unsafe abortion. In April, the World Health Organization reported a notable global decline in deaths from unsafe abortion, suggesting that interventions to improve postabortion care are bearing fruit. But in Argentina, where abortion is illegal except in cases of rape, unsafe abortion remains deadly for Argentine women.

With access to quality care, almost all maternal deaths are preventable. EngenderHealth’s work has produced lifesaving results in places like Tanzania, where complications from abortion are also a leading cause of maternal death. We have partnered with the Tanzanian government to improve the availability of comprehensive postabortion care (cPAC) in rural areas. Prior to 2004, when the ACQUIRE Tanzania Project (ATP) began, these services were only available at regional hospitals, which were too far away for many women to receive timely emergency care. Learn more about EngenderHealths' work in maternal health.

You can help support our work by giving or by following us on Facebook and Twitter to help spread the word about maternal health.

Monday, June 6, 2011

EngenderHealth at Global Health Council Summit (June 13-17)

EngenderHealth next week will host two events at the Global Health Council's annual international global health conference in Washington, DC:

A June 13 workshop (1pm, Executive Room) highlighting the Supply-Enabling Environment-Demand (SEED) Programming Model, our comprehensive approach to achieving sexual and reproductive health. The session will introduce the new SEED Assessment Guide for Family Planning Programming, outlining 25 essential elements for robust and comprehensive family planning programs.

A June 14 evening reception (6:30pm, Governor's Ballroom), "EngenderHealth: Celebrating the SEEDs of Success," to celebrate our SEED programming model, along with another great year for EngenderHealth.

RSVP to these events by writing to

For more on EngenderHealth events this summer, see the "Upcoming Conferences" section in our June issue of Connect.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Act Now to Support Bill on Fistula Prevention & Treatment

Urge your Representatives in Congress to cosponsor critical legislation on obstetric fistula that will bring hope and dignity to mothers across the globe.

Introduced in March by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), H.R. 949 supports increased assistance for fistula prevention and treatment initiatives abroad. These efforts include improving maternal health care, strengthening national health systems, increasing the number of skilled birth attendants, as well as addressing underlying the social and economic causes of fistula.

Send a sample letter to your Representative by entering your zip code here.