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Maternal & Newborn Health

More than 350,000 maternal deaths occurred in 2008, and four million newborns die each year within the first month of life. The vast majority of these preventable deaths occur in developing countries, where adequate health services are often unavailable or inaccessible—leading many women to give birth in facilities that do not offer safe and effective care, or at home without a skilled provider. Simple, low-cost solutions can improve the health and save the lives of women and babies who are the most in need. In addition to ensuring increased access to and use of focused antenatal care, skilled care during birth, basic and comprehensive emergency obstetric and newborn care, the global health community is focusing now on innovations that address common and readily preventable causes of maternal and newborn death: postpartum hemorrhage; prolonged/obstructed labor, a major cause of obstetric fistula; and pre-eclampsia/eclampsia.