In the News

15 November 2012

Three Critical Maternal Health Medicines That Could Save Women's Lives

"We know maternal health medicines are safe, we know they’re effective, we know they’re essential to keeping women healthy throughout pregnancy and childbirth," said Kristy Kade at the Wilson Center on October 23. But lack of supply, poor quality, and misuse means they do not always help the women who need them.

Kade is the author of the PATH report Safeguarding Pregnant Women with Essential Medicines: A Global Agenda to Improve Quality and Access , which takes on this challenge. She was joined by Deborah Armbruster and Rachel Wilson from PATH; Ann Starrs of Family Care International; Jagdish Upadhyay from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA); and Dr. Kennedy Chibwe from the United States Pharmacopeial Convention.

Photo: Environmental Change and Security Program

They spoke specifically about a core group of medicines – magnesium sulfate, oxytocin, and misoprostol – which, according to a new UN report, could save 70,000 lives within five years if they were made more widely available.

Magnesium sulfate is used to treat pre-eclampsia, a dangerous complication in pregnancy that can lead to seizures and sometimes death if left untreated. Oxytocin and misoprostol are both used to treat postpartum hemorrhaging.

Read the full article by Carolyn Lamere in the The New Security Beat blog

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