Every year over half a million women die as a consequence of what are mostly preventable complications during pregnancy, childbirth or abortion, the vast majority of them in developing countries. Four million babies die during the first month of life, which is fully 40 percent of all deaths to children under five (WHO).
The United Nations' Millennium Development Goals pose significant challenges: to reduce maternal mortality by three quarters and reduce child deaths by two thirds by 2015. Given the number of maternal and newborn deaths has actually increased globally since the goals were set, huge progress must be made to meet the goals.
Options recognises that change can only take place when health systems function effectively at every level. We work at the national level, supporting the design and improvement of national policies and programmes and building the capacity of policy-makers and programme managers to strengthen the health system and to make evidence-based decisions.
We also work at the local level, providing technical assistance to programme managers and others in areas such as integration of neonatal, maternal and reproductive health services, drawing up local procurement strategies, designing training programmes for staff, monitoring and evaluating programmes, and improving quality of care.
Options' expertise in maternal newborn and child health includes:
To learn more about Options' work in maternal newborn and child health, contact Louise Hulton