Every day, approximately 830 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. 99% of all maternal deaths occur in developing countries. Maternal mortality is higher in women living in rural areas and among poorer communities. [WHO]
Women die as a result of complications during and following pregnancy and childbirth. Most of these complications develop during pregnancy and most are preventable or treatable. Other complications may exist before pregnancy but are worsened during pregnancy, especially if not managed as part of the woman’s care. The major complications that account for nearly 75% of all maternal deaths are (4):
- severe bleeding (mostly bleeding after childbirth – postpartum hemorrhage)
- infections (usually after childbirth)
- high blood pressure during pregnancy (pre-eclampsia and eclampsia)
- complications from delivery
- unsafe abortion.
The maternal health team at Concept Foundation is working to reduce preventable maternal mortality through increasing access to quality maternal health medicines, primarily medicines for prevention and treatment of post-partum haemorrhage, pre-eclampsia and eclampsia. These medicines include oxytocin, misoprostol, carbetocin and magnesium sulfate.
Our activities are based on a number of transformational studies into the quality of reproductive and maternal health medicines in lower income countries. Concept Foundation has published and contributed to studies on the quality of uterotonics, stability of oxytocics in tropical conditions and capabilities of maternal health drug manufacturers which resulted in the Quality of Reproductive Health Medicines (QuRHM) program and subsequent inclusion of reproductive and maternal health medicines into the WHO Prequalification Program.
Starting with informative research, we work across the spectrum of issues related to access, availability and quality of maternal health medicines.
At the manufacturing end, we support manufacturers in producing quality assured maternal health medicines with technical advice, assessments of capabilities and quality problems and improvements in manufacturing processes through to regulatory approval and registration of products, with specific focus on increasing the number of low-cost quality medicines approved by a stringent regulatory authority such as the WHO Prequalification Program.
We also work with high level stakeholders to improve regulation, procurement, supply and use of quality assured maternal health medicines. Our activities have included workshops involving ministries of health, procurement agencies and international experts and expert input into guidelines and regulatory programs.
Our team also works on ensuring access through market shaping, advocacy, communications and policy shaping activities linked to international recommendations and guidelines.
Our goal is to ensure that every woman has access to quality, effective maternal health medicines when they need them at a price they can afford. Quality. Availability. Accessibility.