Seven Innovations Could Save 2 Million Mothers And Babies By 2030

By Soko Directory Team / Published September 15, 2023 | 11:13 am



Africa

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today released its seventh annual Goalkeepers Report, describing where the world has collectively fallen short at the halfway point for achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“By making innovations accessible to those who need them most, 2 million additional lives could be saved by 2030, and 6.4 million lives by 2040. That’s 2 million families spared an unimaginable heartbreak—and 2 million more people who can shape and enrich our world,” says the report.

Since 2016, progress in reducing global maternal mortality has stalled, and in some countries—including the United States—death rates have risen steadily. Across the world, nearly 800 women die in childbirth every day.

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Though deaths of children under 5 have continued to decline since the mid-2010s, the first month of a newborn’s life continues to be the most dangerous, accounting for almost half of all under-5 deaths today. An estimated 74% of child deaths happen during a baby’s first year.

“As is so often the case in global health, innovations aren’t making their way to the people who need them most—women in low-income countries, as well as Black and Indigenous women in high-income countries like the United States, who are dying at three times the rate of white women. That needs to change,” writes French Gates. “We have seen over and over again that when countries prioritize and invest in women’s health, they unleash a powerful engine for progress that can reduce poverty, advance gender equality, and build resilient economies.”

Many of the life-saving innovations and practices highlighted in the report can be delivered by midwives and birth attendants in communities.

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They include:

  1. A bundle of interventions that can reduce postpartum hemorrhage, the No. 1 cause of maternal death, by 60% for less than $1 per package
  2. Bifidobacteria (B. Infantis), a new probiotic supplement that, when given to an infant alongside breastmilk, combats malnutrition—one of the leading causes of newborn deaths
  3. Multiple micronutrient supplements (MMS) boost survival rates for babies by helping replete nutrient stores in pregnant women and ensuring those vital nutrients are transferred to the baby
  4. A new one-time infusion of IV iron for women that replenishes iron reserves during pregnancy, protecting against and treating anemia, a condition that is both a cause and effect of postpartum hemorrhage and affects almost 37% of pregnant women
  5. Antenatal corticosteroids (ACS), which are given to women who will give birth prematurely to accelerate fetal lung growth, provide several weeks of maturation in just a few days
  6. Azithromycin reduces maternal infections during pregnancy and prevents infections from spiraling into sepsis—the cause of 23% of maternal deaths in the United States—and reduces mortality when given to infants in high-mortality settings.
  7. An AI-enabled portable ultrasound that empowers nurses and midwives to monitor high-risk pregnancies in low-resource settings to ensure that risks are diagnosed and addressed early

Halfway to the deadline for the SDGs, the Goalkeepers Report shows that on 18 indicators—from poverty to gender equality, education to food security, health to climate—the world is off track. It underscores the urgent need for action, as well as a renewed global commitment to ensure a more equitable and safe future for all by 2030. For mothers and babies, having access to the quality health care they need to live long and healthy lives will require policy changes, political will, and more investment in women’s health and healthcare workers, including midwives.

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About Soko Directory Team

Soko Directory is a Financial and Markets digital portal that tracks brands, listed firms on the NSE, SMEs and trend setters in the markets eco-system.Find us on Facebook: facebook.com/SokoDirectory and on Twitter: twitter.com/SokoDirectory

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