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Interested in a position in reproductive, maternal, newborn, child or adolescent health? Every month, the Maternal Health Task Force rounds up job and internship postings from around the globe.

Africa

Health Specialist: UNICEF; Bujumbura, Burundi (Closing date: 3 July 2019; open for Burundi nationals only)

Advocacy and Policy Manager, Advocacy and Public Policy: PATH; Kampala, Uganda (Must have legal authorization to work in Uganda)

Obstetrics and Gynecology Medical Officer: Partners in Health; Kono, Sierra Leone

Community Midwife: Partners in Health; Maryland, Liberia

Neonatal Nurse specialist: Partners in Health; Maryland, Liberia

Chair of Nursing and Midwifery: Partners in Health; Butaro, Rwanda

Asia

Sr. Technical Advisor: Jhpiego; Pakistan (Pakistani nationals are strongly encouraged to apply)

Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Director (Afghanistan): Jhpiego; Afghanistan (Afghan nationals are strongly encouraged to apply)

Program Officer, SRHR STRONG+, Myanmar Country Program: PATH; Yangon, Myanmar (Must have legal authorization to work in Myanmar)

Associate Program Officer, Uttar Pradesh Team: Gates Foundation; New Delhi, India

GBV Programme Coordinator, Kathmandu, Nepal Country Office, P-4: UNFPA; Kathmandu, Nepal (Closing date: 9 July 2019 – 5:00pm EST)

North America

CDC Infant Nutrition Fellowship: CDC; Atlanta, GA (Closing date: 29 July 2019)

Communications Assistant: Guttmacher Institute; New York, NY

Program Coordinator, WHP/QA: PSI; Washington, DC

Assistant Commissioner – Division of Family Health and Wellness: TN Department of Health; Nashville, TN

Assistant Commissioner/Title V Director: TN Department of Health; Nashville, TN

Public Health Program Administrator-Division Chief: Ohio Department of Health; Columbus, OH

IdahoSTARS Child Care Health Consultant: University of Idaho; Twin Falls, ID

Digital Public Health Editor: Planned Parenthood Federation of America; New York, NY

Associate Director, Public Health Media: Planned Parenthood Federation of America; New York, NY

Director, Federal Advocacy Communications: Planned Parenthood Federation of America; Washington, DC

Press Officer, Public Health: Planned Parenthood Federation of America; New York, NY

Program Officer: Health Equity and Maternal and Child Health: Kellogg Foundation; Detroit, MI

Program Manager, State Teams, AIM: ACOG; Washington, DC

Communications Manager: Reproductive Health Access Project; New York, NY

Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy & Operations Officer: National Institute for Reproductive Health; New York, NY

Education & Training Senior Director: Planned Parenthood of Southern New England; New Haven, CT

Policy Coordinator: National Network of Abortion Funds; location flexible

Assistant Director, Digital Strategy: Physicians for Reproductive Health; New York, NY

Senior Program Officer, Newborn Health: Gates Foundation; Seattle, WA

EUROPE

Chief Medical Advisor: International Planned Parenthood Federation; London UK

Technical Officer – Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse (MSD): World Health Organization; Geneva, Switzerland (Closing date: 18 July 2019)

Technical Officer – Department of Essential Medicines and Health Products (EMP): World Health Organization; Geneva, Switzerland (Closing date: 17 July 2019)

Is your organization hiring? Please contact us if you have maternal health job or internship opportunities that you would like included in our next job roundup.

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Dr. Gene Declercq wants you to know three things about maternal mortality. But first, here are three things to know about him: (1) he eagerly pours over annual death certificate reports on weekend nights; (2) he maintains a slide with pictures of every colleague he’s published with, reminding us to join forces with others; and (3) he’s recently shifted his 30+ year research focus on childbirth to maternal mortality, because, as he states upfront, “regrettably death trumps birth in the eyes of the public.”

The United States ranks worse in maternal mortality than every other developed country. This ranking is fraught with international debate, measuring inconsistencies, and extreme racial inequities, especially among Black women in the U.S. During his presentation at the Harvard Chan School on April 6, 2018, Gene dug into all of these.

For instance, he quickly debunked the “diversity” argument that the U.S. ranks so poorly because of its diverse population and wide racial inequities in maternal mortality. Gene noted that even if we looked at maternal mortality just among White women, the U.S. still ranks at the very bottom. Thus, the U.S. is doing poorly by all standards — and racial inequities don’t explain the full picture.

With an ability to illuminate his findings with data sleuthing stories and memorable taglines, Gene gave us three things to know about the state of maternal mortality research in the United States:

  1. “The U.S. has a problem, but isn’t sure how bad it is.”

The main reason for this ambiguity is because of how maternal mortality is calculated in the U.S. compared to other countries. To set the stage, Gene spelled out the different maternal mortality measures the U.S. has used:

  • Maternal mortality ratio – the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy from any cause related to or aggravated by pregnancy or its management but not from accidental or incidental causes. Typically reported as a ratio per 100,000 live births.
  • Pregnancy-related deaths – the death of a woman while pregnant or within one year of the end of pregnancy from a pregnancy complication, a chain of events initiated by pregnancy, or the aggravation of an unrelated condition of the physiologic effects of pregnancy.
  • Pregnancy-associated deaths – the death of a woman while pregnant or within one year of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of cause. (Coincidentally, the World Health Organization calls these pregnancy-related deaths.)

In 2007, the U.S. federal government stopped reporting the maternal mortality ratio, the measure used by all other countries. Gene wanted to know why. In the U.S., the maternal mortality ratio had been increasing since the late 1990s. However, without newly reported maternal mortality data, we couldn’t make reliable comparisons to previous years or to other countries.

The answer, Gene and colleagues discovered, stemmed from the change in death certificate reporting in 2003. At the time, public health professionals worried that they weren’t picking up enough cases of maternal mortality during pregnancy. They sought to standardize how pregnancy information was collected on death certificates.

This led to the “pregnancy checkbox,” a mandated question on death certificates to indicate whether a deceased woman was pregnant or within one year of death. Unfortunately, the change required a huge technical overhaul, and when federal funding to support it fell through, states were slow to adopt. By 2007, maternal mortality data had become inconsistent with only half the 50 states (plus Washington D.C. and New York City) implementing the checkbox.

Give the checkbox debacle and fear of invalid data, the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) decided to no longer report maternal mortality. The Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System (PMSS) continued to report maternal deaths, but used different measures — pregnancy-associated deaths (deaths while pregnant or within one year of termination due to any cause) and pregnancy-related deaths (deaths while pregnant or within one year of termination associated with pregnancy) — instead of maternal mortality ratios.

That’s where Gene and his colleagues came in. They set out to analyze this inconsistent state data to estimate a national maternal mortality average, and once again, determine how the U.S. stacks up against other OECD countries. Their ensuing paper Recent increases in the US Maternal Mortality Rate – Disentangling trends from measurement issues, made waves when it was published in 2016. The article concluded that the estimated maternal mortality rate had increased by about 27% from 2000 to 2014 for 48 states and Washington D.C. (with California and Texas analyzed separately). The media had a field day, certain states reeled from the publicity, and soon there was an increased interest in the U.S.’s maternal mortality problem. Today, we’re still figuring out just how severe this problem is.

  1. “The problem is bigger than maternal mortality.”

Maternal mortality isn’t just about women dying in labor. It’s about what’s happening before delivery and after birth. It’s also what’s happening overall with increasing mortality rates for women of reproductive age, regardless of pregnancy status. Gene challenged us to broaden the conversation and our research.

During his presentation, we learned that about 31% of maternal deaths happen before delivery and 33% after pregnancy (up to one year). The timing matters, specifically, the 12% of maternal deaths that occur between 42 days and one year after pregnancy since this range is not included in the maternal mortality ratio. This suggests that because the U.S. is using pregnancy-associated deaths and pregnancy-related deaths to measure maternal mortality, it is capturing more deaths in a wider time frame compared to other countries that use maternal mortality ratios as their measurement standards.

Gene also presented increasing mortality rates for young women, particularly those ages 25 to 34. The main cause for this increase? Accidents — a catch-all category encompassing mental health and accidental poisonings, including overdose deaths. With these findings, Gene has tapped into something much bigger than maternal mortality. And he calls on us to address it.

How can we as public health professionals expand our perspective of maternal mortality? How can we partner with fields like accidents and injuries to prevent women from dying? Part of the strategy lies in focusing more on pregnancy-related deaths and pregnancy-associated deaths.

  1. Re-conceptualizing maternal mortality and morbidity

Gene argued that maternal morbidity is a serious problem, too. Much progress has been made in clinical settings during birth, but cardiac issues, violence, and substance use during pregnancy are increasing.

Again, this requires us to see what’s going on before and after pregnancy or pregnancy termination. One way to do this is to ask women themselves. Their voices are critical to maternal morbidity research, but rarely captured in the data systems we have access to.

Gene wrapped up his seminar by reiterating needed solutions: listening to women directly, conducting longitudinal studies on maternal health, thinking beyond maternal mortality to women’s mortality overall, and shifting the narrative outside of hospitals. State maternal mortality review committees are starting to tackle these gaps by bringing together obstetricians, midwives, pregnant women, and researchers (Gene himself serves on the Massachusetts Maternal Mortality Review Committee).

As MCH stewards, we can learn from this approach. We can connect our detailed analyses to broader, more diverse issues. We can change the public image by prioritizing accurate data and compelling stories. And we can be collaborative and cross-cutting in our research.

There is no shortage of complexities when it comes to maternal mortality. With his three takeaways, Gene has given us a roadmap.

Dr. Gene Declercq is a Professor of Community Health Sciences and Assistant Dean for DrPH Education at the Boston University School of Public Health as well as a professor on the faculty of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Boston University School of Medicine. Gene developed and presented the short film, Birth by the Numbers, as well as this companion website, which includes the specific data presented in this blog.

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Interested in a position in reproductive, maternal, newborn, child or adolescent health? Every month, the Maternal Health Task Force rounds up job and internship postings from around the globe.

Africa

Team Leader, Community Engagement: Jhpiego; Zambia

Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Director: Jhpiego; Afghanistan

Deputy Chief of Party (DCOP), Breakthrough ACTION – West Africa: Save the Children; Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

International Consultant-Reproductive Maternal Newborn Child and Adolescent Health: WHO; Seychelles

Technical Officer (Maternal & Child Health), NPO: WHO; Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Roster – Reproductive, Maternal , New Born and Child Health Consultant: WHO; Brazzaville, Congo

NPO (Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn Child & Adolescent Health); WHO; Conakry, Guinea

Regional Director, Africa: International Planned Parenthood Federation; Nairobi, Kenya (Closing Date: June 18, 2019)

Asia

Programme Specialist, UN Coordination, Majuro, Republic of Marshall Islands, Pacific Sub Regional Office, NOC: UNFPA; Majuro, Republic of Marshall Islands (Closing Date: June 7, 2019)

Research Program Officer, Global Health & Development, India Country Office: Gates Foundation; New Delhi, India

Program Officer, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Discovery & Tools, Global Health: Gates Foundation; Seattle, WA

Postdoctoral Fellow in Health, South Asia: J-PAL; India

North America

Coordinator, Every Women Every Child (EWEC) Secretariat: UNFPA; New York, NY (Closing Date: June 7, 2019)

Program Specialist, Early Childhood-West Virginia: Save the Children; Morgantown, WV

Senior Manager, Research: Save the Children; Seattle, WA

Manager, Research: Save the Children; Seattle, WA

Deputy Project Director, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Consortium: CARE; Atlanta, GA

Senior Program Officer, Drug Discovery, Reproductive Biology, Global Health & Development: Gates Foundation; Seattle, WA

Senior Program Officer, Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health: Columbia University; New York, NY

Senior Data Analyst: Women’s Health and Family Planning Association of Texas; Austin, TX

Women and Infant Health Program Manager: Wyoming Department of Health; Cheyenne, WY

Director, Health Equity: Planned Parenthood; New York, NY

Senior Director, Public Health Outcomes Improvement: Planned Parenthood; New York, NY

Research Associate in Global Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Boston, MA

Postdoctoral Fellow – Global Maternal and Child Health: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Boston, MA

Program Manager, HaSET: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Boston, MA

Associate Director, Reproductive Rights Research: State Innovation Exchange (SIX); remote or Denver, CO

Program Manager, Family Planning: Boston Medical Center; Boston, MA

Program Director, Family Planning: Boston Medical Center; Boston, MA

Central America

Regional Monitoring And Evaluation Adviser: UNFPA; Panama City, Panama (Closing Date: June 7, 2019)

Is your organization hiring? Please contact us if you have maternal health job or internship opportunities that you would like included in our next job roundup.

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At the 10th anniversary celebration of the Maternal Health Task Force, The Global Maternal Health Symposium, 10 Maternal Health Visionary awards were presented. The recipients were honored for the impact, innovation, inspiration, leadership, and future vision they have provided to the field of Maternal Health. This blog series highlights the work of these maternal health visionaries.

Theresa ShaverWhite Ribbon Alliance founder and currently a Senior Maternal Health Advisor, in the Office of Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition, USAID Bureau for Global Health, reminds us to stay bold together as we continue to work toward a global movement to end Maternal and Neonatal Mortality.Read Theresa's story
Hawa Abdullahi ElmiMaternal health in Somalia is often associated with high mortality rates, but Hawa Abdullahi Elmi is changing the narrative. Learn about her Mogadishu Midwifery School program that empowers local women to become midwives.Read Hawa's story
Dr. Linda ValenciaDr. Linda Valencia has relentlessly dedicated her career to improving health outcomes mothers in Guatemala, as Head of Residency for Gynecology at a large public hospital, her work with the Ministry of Public Health, and as Planned Parenthood’s first local doctor in the country.Read Linda's story
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At the 10th anniversary celebration of the Maternal Health Task Force, The Global Maternal Health Symposium, 10 Maternal Health Visionary awards were presented. The recipients were honored for the impact, innovation, inspiration, leadership, and future vision they have provided to the field of Maternal Health. This blog series highlights the work of these maternal health visionaries.

Maternal Health Visionary Spotlight: Theresa Shaver, White Ribbon Alliance founder – and current Senior Maternal Health Advisor in the Office of Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition, USAID Bureau for Global Health –  reminds us to stay bold together as we continue to work toward a global movement to end Maternal and Neonatal Mortality

When Theresa Shaver and her colleagues envisioned the White Ribbon Alliance (WRA), they were driven by a combination of grief and hope. Grief over the preventable deaths of mothers and babies worldwide and hope that a coalition of dedicated people could make a difference. Since the color white symbolized both, it was a perfect choice. WRA was born on Mother’s Day in 1999.

Theresa Shaver, White Ribbon Alliance founder; Senior Maternal Health Advisor, in the Office of Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition, USAID Bureau for Global Health

A shared conviction that no woman should die while bringing life to a child, drove those in WRA to campaign for maternal health all over the world, including places with no history of investing in women’s health and even less open to advocacy. Theresa explained, “the conditions existing at the time were a call to action. There was, and there remains, a sense of urgency to eliminate maternal and neonatal mortality.” Today, WRA is an established nonprofit, operating in 15 countries with an expanded mission of activating a people-led movement for reproductive, maternal and newborn health and rights. By putting citizens at the center of global, national and local efforts, WRA has accelerated policy making and continues to create effective changes in maternal and neonatal health.

Theresa has had an amazing career, and she shows no signs of retiring. She is heartened by the progress that is made each year in the field and yet is quick to remind us that, “there 300,000 maternal deaths each year, 2.5 million neonatal deaths, and 2.6 million stillbirths.” Her advice for the future?

We must enroll the next generation of advocates so that maternal and newborn health is a growing political priority here at home and in countries around the world”

That message holds especially true for the United States, where maternal mortality is on the rise and racial inequalities in maternal health outcomes are unacceptably large.  As Theresa explains: “if you break it apart, it’s about equity, it’s about race, and economics.” She points to the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative as a beacon of hope for reversing maternal mortality trends in the United States. “That is the way forward.” Theresa says. “We have to work collectively across disciplines to make maternal and neonatal health a social and financial priority. The aspects of equity and race need to be addressed head on.”

There are lessons in other countries for the United States as well. Theresa points to initiatives around respectful maternity care in lower-income settings that could improve current profit driven models established by the health care industry. An open dialogue would benefit both the United States and the rest of the world, Theresa says, but often information only travels one way.

Work to end deaths in childbirth must continue, and Theresa has some words of wisdom for the next generation: “It was definitely a risk when WRA launched in 1999; however, there were successful models to learn from. We studied the HIV movement, the work of La Leche League International, the efforts of Greenpeace, and the sustainability of the World Wildlife Fund that was founded in 1961. Be bold. Learn what went well and what did not. Together, we can effect positive change.”

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Interested in a position in reproductive, maternal, newborn, child or adolescent health? Every month, the Maternal Health Task Force rounds up job and internship postings from around the globe.

International Consultant for Maternal Nutrition: UNICEF; Bangladesh

North America

Data Specialist, Early Childhood: Save the Children; Lexington, KY

Communications and Advocacy Intern: White Ribbon Alliance; Washington, DC

Health Technologies for Women and Children Internship, Preeclampsia/ Eclampsia: PATH; Seattle WA

Health Technologies for Women and Children Internship, Postpartum Hemorrhage: PATH, Seattle, WA

Project Administrator, Maternal Newborn Child Health and Nutrition: PATH, Washington, DC

Director of Communications: Guttmacher Institute, New York, NY

Health Data Fellowship, Epidemiology & Evaluation: Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs; Washington, DC

Communications Coordinator: Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs; Washington, DC

Research Assistant, Maternal Child Epidemiology Estimation (MCEE): Johns Hopkins University; Baltimore, MD

Division Director, Maternal and Child Health: Indiana State Department of Health; Indianapolis, IN

Division Chief – Maternal, Child & Family Health Services (SPSA, Option 6): Illinois Department of Public Health; Chicago, IL

Research Associate: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG); Washington, DC

Associate Director, Federal Advocacy Communications: Planned Parenthood; Washington, DC

Policy Analyst (2): Planned Parenthood; Washington, DC

Central America

National Post: Programme Analyst, Gender Based Violence: UNFPA; Managua, Nicaragua (Closing Date: April 13, 2019 EST)

Program Support Specialist, Adolescent, Life Course and Community Health: WHO; Nicaragua-Managua (Closing Date: May 14, 2019 EST)

Is your organization hiring? Please contact us if you have maternal health job or internship opportunities that you would like included in our next job roundup.

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At the 10th anniversary celebration of the Maternal Health Task Force, The Global Maternal Health Symposium, we awarded 10 Maternal Health Visionary awards to professionals who have shown impact, innovation, inspiration, leadership, and future vision in the field of Maternal Health. This blog series highlights the work of these maternal health visionaries.

Maternal Health Visionary: Hawa  Abdullahi  Elmi

Hawa Abdullahi Elmi is passionate about the importance of midwifery services for reducing maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality, particularly in her country of Somalia. “Midwives can provide proper care before pregnancy, during childbirth, and after delivery. They can identify problems, undertake life-saving interventions and strengthen the referral system to the referral hospitals,” Hawa says.

“Midwives can do great things to save mothers and their children.”

Hawa has dedicated her career to supporting and promoting midwives, and she now serves as the Principal of the Mogadishu Midwifery School and the Vice President of the Somali Midwifery Association. One of her most recent achievements is her active role in the development of nationally and internationally-recognized Somali midwifery curriculum in 2016, which has been instrumental in the training of over 250 qualified midwives.

Hawa’s interest in maternal health began when she was a nurse-midwife student at an SOS Community Health Nursing School in Mogadishu (a missionary school founded by the late Italian nun Sister Leonella Sgorbati in 2002). Following graduation, Hawa attended a two-year course of medical education in Nairobi and eventually took a position as a teacher at the same missionary school she attended.

Her skills as a leader and her commitment to improving maternal health were soon recognized. In 2012, she was appointed as the principal of a new midwifery school established in Mogadishu by the Somali Ministry of Health.

Hawa Abdullahi (center)

The aim of this midwifery training program was to reduce the maternal mortality rate in Somalia, which was approximately 1,044 deaths per 100,000 live births at the time.

Noticing the number of women who came from outside the city to seek care for birth complications, Hawa realized there was an urgent need to increase the number of skilled birth attendants in rural areas. In her new role, Hawa carried out an assessment survey with the Somali Ministry of Health. They identified only 25 midwives in an area with a population of five million. Not only was there a vastly insufficient number of midwives, the few practicing midwives were at the end of their careers.

Hawa set out to recruit young women from around the country to attend midwifery training. She began advertising in rural areas and found that many young women were willing to pursue a career in midwifery. “If we ask them why they are interested in becoming a midwife, most of them will say, ‘When I was young I witnessed a problem with maternal health and complications in my family.’ Some of their mothers passed away due to maternal health complications that could have been prevented with timely quality midwifery services,” Hawa explained.

As principal of the Mogadishu Midwifery School, Hawa has helped hundreds of women receive midwifery training. Women who are interested in attending midwifery school must undergo an exam, and those who attains high scores are invited to free midwifery training course. They are also provided with full accommodation and access to training and learning resources throughout their course. At the school, women attend several semesters of training in areas such as family planning, prenatal care, delivery, postnatal care, risk assessment, gender-based violence, mental health and management.

Hawa believes these efforts to increase the number of trained midwives in Somalia have helped to reduce the maternal mortality rate, which has fallen to 732 deaths per 100,000 live births according to a 2016 report.

Although tremendous progress has been made in increasing the number of qualified midwives in Somalia, many challenges remain, Hawa says. Somalia remains one of the countries with the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. The number of trained midwives in the country still falls short of World Health Organization recommendations, which suggest that Somalia needs an additional 20,000 midwives. In addition to training more students, “we want to improve the quality of teaching, strengthen the Midwifery Association, increase regulation, and establish an online library to enable midwives and students access to updated information” Hawa says.

The impact of Hawa’s work is evident across Somalia, and her achievements propel her to face new challenges.“When I feel tired I tell myself that in most health facilities in Somalia, I can find a nurse or midwife that I have trained or participated their training. And this inspires me to keep going as they are helping someone in need.”

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Interested in a position in reproductive, maternal, newborn, child or adolescent health? Every month, the Maternal Health Task Force rounds up job and internship postings from around the globe.

Africa

Maternal & Child Health Officer: UNICEF; Madagascar (Closing Date: Wed Apr 10, 2019; post reserved for Malagasy candidates)

Reproductive, Maternal & Neonatal Health Officer: WHO; Cotonou, Benin (Closing Date: Apr 14, 2019, 5:59:00 PM)

Programme Analyst-Gender and Human Rights: UNFPA; Rabat, Morocco (Closing Date: April 14, 2019 EST)

Associate Director, Sexual, Reproductive, Maternal and Newborn Health: Clinton Health Access Initiative; Lusaka Zambia

Quality Improvement Officer: Jhpiego; Zambia

Asia

Technical Director: Jhpiego; Afghanistan

Program Officer: Clinton Health Access Initiative; Tanintharyi Region, Myanmar

North America

Senior Policy Manager: Guttmacher Institute; Washington D.C.

IT Intern: Guttmacher Institute; New York, NY

Research Associate: The University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration; Chicago, IL

Senior Nursing Director – Maternal Child Health: Tower Health – Reading Hospital; West Reading, PA

Senior Project Coordinator, Women & Health Initiative: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Boston, MA

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Maternal Nutrition and Perinatal Health: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Boston, MA

Coordinator Reproductive Health Program: Save the Children; Washington D.C.

Director, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR): CARE; Atlanta, GA

Central America

National Post: Programme Analyst, Gender Based Violence: UNFPA; Managua, Nicaragua (Closing Date: April 13, 2019 EST)

Is your organization hiring? Please contact us if you have maternal health job or internship opportunities that you would like included in our next job roundup.

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Interested in a position in reproductive, maternal, newborn, child or adolescent health? Every month, the Maternal Health Task Force rounds up job and internship postings from around the globe.

Africa

Consultancy: Education Framework Development: UNICEF; Kenya  (Closing date: Fri Mar 08 2019 15:55:00 GMT-0500 EST)

Social and Behavior Change Communications (SBCC) Advisor: IPPF; Nairobi, Kenya (Closing date: 27 February 2019)

Technical Officer (Maternal & Child Health): WHO; Cotonou, Benin (Closing date: Mar 5, 2019, 5:59:00 PM)

Coordinator, Gender Based Violence Sub-Cluster: UNFPA; Juba, South Sudan (Closing date: 5 March 2019 – 5:00pm (New York time))

Team Leader Service Delivery: Jhpiego; Zambia (Zambian nationals strongly encouraged to apply)

Senior Advisor, Newborn and Child Health: Save the Children; Lusaka, Zambia

Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH): Officer Partners in Health; Maryland, Liberia

Asia

Customer Experience Manager, National Hire Position: PSI; Dhaka, Bangladesh

Marketing Officer, National Hire Position: PSI; Dhaka, Bangladesh

NPO (Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health): WHO; Jakarta, Indonesia (Closing date: Mar 14, 2019, 5:59:00 PM)

Senior Associate, Global SRH (Sexual Reproductive Maternal Neonatal and Child Health): Clinton Health Access Initiative; Phnom Penh, Cambodia

North America

Multiple: Communications, Evaluations, Operations: Planned Parenthood; Multiple locations, US

WKKF Program Officers, Food, Health and Well-being: W.K. Kellogg Foundation; Battle Creek, MI

WKKF Program Officer, Michigan: W.K. Kellogg Foundation; Grand Rapids, MI

WKKF Program Officer, New Mexico: W.K. Kellogg Foundation; Albuquerque, NM

Medical Director: CHOICES Memphis Center for Reproductive Health; Memphis, TN

Full-time faculty, Community Health Sciences: Boston University School of Public Health; Boston, MA

International Communications Manager: Guttmacher Institute; New York, NY

Sr. Research Data Analyst: Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health; Baltimore, MD

Senior Nutrition Consultant: Jefferson County Health Department; Birmingham, AL

Associate Director of Management, Delivery Decisions Initiative: Ariadne Labs; Boston, MA

Statistical Analyst/Programmer: Ariadne Labs; Boston, MA

Program Manager, Infant Feeding Project, BetterBirth: Ariadne Labs; Boston, MA

Writing and Communications Coordinator, Communications (Part-time): Ariadne Labs; Boston, MA

Social Media Consultant: UNFPA; New York, NY (Closing date: 5 March 2019 – 5:00pm (New York time))

Summer Reproductive Health Team Intern: Save the Children; Washington D.C.

Data and Advocacy Campaign Intern: White Ribbon Alliance; Washington D.C. (Closing date: COB Tuesday, February 26th)

EUROPE

International consultancy: Costing of maternal and child health services: UNICEF; Azerbaijan (Closing date: Wed Feb 27 2019 09:00:00 GMT-0500 EST)

Director, Institutional Delivery: IPPF; London, England (Closing date: 3 March 2019)

Program Manager, HQ/MCA Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health: WHO; Geneva, Switzerland (Closing date: Mar 8, 2019, 5:59:00 PM)

MIDDLE EAST

Project Management Specialist, Population and Family Health Office: USAID; Amman, Jordan (Jordanian citizens only)

Is your organization hiring? Please contact us if you have maternal health job or internship opportunities that you would like included in our next job roundup.

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En celebración del décimo aniversario de la Maternal Health Task Force, en el marco del Simposio de Salud Materna Global, concedemos 10 premios de Visionario de Salud Materna a profesionales que han tenido un impacto y han sido fuente de innovación, inspiración, liderazgo, y visión para el futuro en el campo de la salud materna. Esta serie de nuestro blog destaca el trabajo de estas personas visionarias de la salud materna. Haga clic aquí para una versión de esta publicación en inglés.

Visionaria de Salud Materna: Dra. Linda Valencia

La Dra. Linda Valencia fue criada en el campo de Guatemala por una familia de puras mujeres fuertes quienes superaron la pobreza. La madre de Linda se graduó como abogada y Linda decidió seguir los pasos de su familia. Con una familia de puras mujeres, a Linda la ginecología le parecía una profesión perfecta. En una demostración temprana de su persistencia, Linda ganó una beca para estudiar medicina en la Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala, trabajó duro, y completó su residencia en ginecología en un hospital público importante.

Tradicionalmente, la obstetricia y ginecología en Guatemala eran dominados por los hombres, pero Linda rápidamente subía a la parte superior de su clase, eventualmente llegando a ser la segunda Jefa de Residencia para ginecología en la historia del hospital. Su posición le abrió puertas y al mismo tiempo le dio una perspectiva más amplia del sistema de hospitales, llevándole a dos experiencias que cambiaron el curso de su vida y resultaron en su posición con Planned Parenthood Global.

Como parte de su nuevo trabajo, Linda participó en un curso de calidad clínica materna y neonatal ofrecido por la Universidad de Johns Hopkins. El curso abrió sus ojos, y ella empezó a ver la relación entre los resultados pésimos de la salud materna y el estatus de la salud de las mujeres en general en Guatemala. Este mismo año, Linda perdió una paciente, una madre de siete niños con un embarazo no deseado quien llegó al hospital con sepsis severa después de un aborto clandestino (actualmente el aborto en Guatemala es legal solamente para evitar riesgo a la vida de la mujer). Linda no entendía. Se preguntó- “¿cómo es que las mujeres pueden tomar estos riesgos tan terribles que las llevan a perder la vida?”

Con su típica tenacidad, Linda empezó a entender y actuar. Lo que descubrió en los primeros años de los 2000 era un sistema que situaba a Guatemala como el país con la mortalidad materna segunda más alta en Centroamérica (después de Nicaragua). Los hospitales no tenían suficientes proveedores para tratar a las mujeres que tenían complicaciones, y para colmo de males a menudo los hospitales eran inaccesibles para las mujeres rurales. Para muchas mujeres el viaje al hospital más cercano tomaría 3 o 4 horas. Como Linda describe:

“Si una mujer da a luz en casa y sufre un hemorragia o una placenta accreta, tienen que llevarle al hospital de pie, montada en un caballo o un burro, o cargada por la espalda del esposo. Obviamente llega al hospital muerta.”

Linda observaba que las mujeres pobres, rurales, e indígenas eran las personas que más sufrían por las complicaciones-sean las del parto o las de un aborto clandestino.

No hacer nada no era una opción para Linda. Ingresó al Ministerio de Salud Pública de Guatemala y trabajó ahí para implementar atención médica de salud sexual y reproductiva de una alta calidad en todos los 36 hospitales en el país, incluyendo un programa de atención pos-aborto. Para implementar este programa, Linda y sus colegas se enfrentaron a un sistema que solía tratar a las mujeres con complicaciones pos-aborto como criminales, y lo convirtieron en un sistema que trataba esas mujeres con dignidad.

Después de varios años trabajando para el Ministerio de Salud Pública, Linda tuvo la oportunidad de ingresar a Planned Parenthood Global en Guatemala. Ella quedó impresionada por la dedicación de Planned Parenthood para ayudar a mujeres a prevenir embarazos no deseados, acceder a abortos seguros, y tener atención pos-aborto de una alta calidad. Planned Parenthood Global tenía planeado expandir su trabajo en Guatemala y contrató a Linda como la primera doctora local colaborando con la organización en Guatemala. Linda empezó a establecer contactos con varias organizaciones sin fines de lucro, clínicas, y organizaciones de mujeres para expandir el acceso a la atención médica de salud sexual y reproductiva.

Linda entendía que para llegar a las mujeres más vulnerables-las mujeres indígenas, las mujeres rurales, y las mujeres que fueron impactadas por el conflicto armado en Guatemala- tenía que pensar creativamente y fuera de la clínica o el hospital. Por ello, comenzó a trabajar con comadronas (practicantes de medicina tradicional), ofreciéndoles capacitación en salud materna y apoyo. Fundó centros de salud en las comunidades más difíciles de alcanzar. Luchó por el retorno de la partería como un componente importante de atención médica materna, instalando un programa de partería en la Ciudad de Guatemala para entrenar a mujeres rurales para ser parteras en sus comunidades. El programa de partería actualmente lleva tres años y Linda tuvo el orgullo de ser la profesora de la primera clase.

El trabajo de Linda y de otros ha disminuido la mortalidad materna en Guatemala, pero el trabajo no ha terminado. La corrupción y la cultura del machismo son barreras difíciles para lograr atención médica de salud sexual y reproductiva de una alta calidad, explica Linda. La corrupción del gobierno desvía fondos del sistema de salud pública y crea obstáculos legislativos. Cuando le preguntamos a ella, qué es lo necesario para mejorar la tasa de mortalidad materna, Linda está clara:

“Tenemos que ser más agresivos; Guatemala necesita seguir combatiendo la corrupción; necesitamos seguir humanizando la atención médica para las mujeres; necesitamos seguir entrenando parteras; necesitamos seguir formando comadronas; necesitamos seguir educando a las mujeres y a las niñas acerca de la salud sexual y reproductiva.”

El mensaje final de Linda para el mundo es simple: No se olviden de Guatemala. No se olviden de las mujeres guatemaltecas. Todavía necesitan la atención y el apoyo del mundo para asegurar la salud de todas las mujeres y los niños de Guatemala.

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