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Rabin Martin guided the strategy, program design and implementation for Merck for Mothers – Merck’s bold $650 million initiative to help end preventable maternal deaths worldwide. ​


Every two minutes, a woman dies during pregnancy and childbirth. Most of these deaths occur in countries with poor health infrastructure and are preventable when women have access to quality maternity care before, during and after childbirth. In the U.S., maternal mortality has been rising over the past two decades, despite progress in reducing maternal deaths globally, and there are persistent racial disparities in maternal health outcomes.

Rabin Martin helped design the strategy for Merck for Mothers – Merck’s bold initiative to help end preventable maternal mortality worldwide – and we continue to be a key partner in ensuring its global impact. Initially a $500 million, 10-year program, this ambitious effort was launched in 2011 at the UN General Assembly as the first private sector commitment to accelerate progress in reaching the Millennium Development Goal to significantly reduce maternal deaths. In recognition of Merck for Mothers’ strong results, Merck’s leadership extended the commitment in 2021, providing an additional $150 million.

As Merck for Mothers’ lead consultant for more than a dozen years, we collaborate with the Merck team to develop programs in countries around the world, initiate partnerships with global, national and community stakeholders, and elevate the visibility of this corporate-wide initiative and the success of its partners.

More specifically, we have helped:

  • Define opportunities for the company to contribute its business and scientific expertise to address this longstanding public health challenge
  • Secure and manage partnerships with governments, multilateral agencies, health care provider associations, NGOs, foundations and academia to maximize impact
  • Design and manage dozens of programs, coalitions and research projects in high, medium and low-income countries to improve maternity care and advance the field
  • Support global and national advocacy to improve the quality of maternal health care
  • Develop an overarching framework to track and report on progress and impact, aligned with the company’s sustainability reporting

An important element of Merck for Mothers is its thought leadership – backed by solid program investments – on critical issues that directly affect maternal health and global health broadly. Merck for Mothers has reached more than 20 million women with improved access to quality care in over 60 sites around the world, including every state in the U.S. The initiative has generated important learnings for Merck as the company seeks to expand access to its lifesaving medicines and vaccines around the world.  

A pregnant woman standing in front of a shack as part of a global signature initiative to improve maternal health.


As a result of the program’s success, Merck has become a trusted partner with key stakeholders and customers in developed and emerging markets. The company has also strengthened its reputation in global health and is recognized widely as a global leader in maternal health. 


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Rabin Martin consultants share expert insights on what’s emerging, what’s working, and what’s needed to improve access, outcomes, and equity.

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