One in four maternal deaths globally is caused by pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, HIV, malaria and obesity. The event Reaching the Last 25 Percent: Saving the lives of women and newborns through a life cycle approach, hosted by Management Sciences for Health, Novo Nordisk and the NCD Roundtable on January 19, 2016, at the Center for Global Development in Washington, DC, featured panel discussions to address this often neglected correlation between noncommunicable diseases and maternal health.
Rabin Martin President & CEO Jeffrey L. Sturchio spoke on the first of two panels, discussing the role of the private sector in addressing NCDs and maternal health.
“It’s just impossible to think about how to ensure the health of women and newborns across the lifecycle unless we address these issues around diabetes and other NCDs,” Jeff said. As our world is becoming more globalized, he said, we are seeing the globalization not just of products and markets, but also of health problems, and most of the burden for NCDs falls on low- and middle-income countries. Jeff went on to discuss the unique value private sector companies offer, and that companies have become more active in these countries and should continue to do so, as they realize that ill health threatens long-term economic health and productivity.
Anil Kapur, Chairman, World Diabetes Foundation, gave the opening address. Catharine Taylor, Vice President, Health Programs Group, Management Sciences for Health, moderated the panel, which also included Susan Papp, Director of Policy and Advocacy, Women Deliver; and Tiaji Salaam-Blyther, Specialist in Global Health, Congressional Research Service.