This year, Rabin Martin attended the International Maternal and Newborn Health Conference (IMNHC) in Cape Town, South Africa held from May 8th – 11th. After more than 8 years, this conference was the first time the global maternal and newborn health community came together to share learnings and accelerate solutions to improve maternal and newborn survival and prevent stillbirths. While the global maternal and newborn health community has a lot of work to do to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, this conference marked a critical milestone towards building collaborative and coordinated partnerships to catalyze action for moms and newborns.
Learning 1: Identifying challenges, designing equitable solutions, and evaluating impact requires diverse community participation
As we march towards our 2030 SDG targets, efficient and effective investments and implementation requires participation from those we aim to serve, as mothers, families, and their social networks are most aware of what they need from their local health care system to improve their health and remain abreast of the challenges that continue to be most detrimental to themselves and their local communities.
In reviewing many of the action frameworks shared during IMNHC – including the draft EmONC framework, ENAP/EPMM joint framework, and more – most, if not all, included a lens to community participation. This highlights an important paradigm shift that many other therapeutic health areas should prioritize in how they conduct their work, and with whom.
At Rabin Martin, we strive to hold our clients accountable to the customers, clients, and the patients they aim to serve across racial/ethnic groups, socioeconomic strata and geopolitical landscapes. Whether it’s through building partnership strategies and frameworks, designing innovative programs, stewarding programmatic implementations, or formulating evaluation frameworks, Rabin Martin is committed to embedding a community representation and participation lens into everything we do to equitably advance health outcomes.
Learning 2: Diffusion of innovations across health systems is critical to equitably improving maternal health outcomes, including improving management and treatment of post-partum hemorrhage during labor and delivery
Post-partum hemorrhage is the leading cause of maternal mortality worldwide, with 70,000 PPH-related deaths occurring every year. PPH has remained the number one cause of maternal death for decades, highlighting a critical and persisting gap in health systems and global maternal health action.
During IMNHC, panel sessions released outcomes from the E-MOTIVE Trial – a study trial analyzing the impact of early detection and bundled treatment options on PPH outcomes – and launched the WHO’s draft roadmap to combat PPH between 2023 and 2030. These two resources are important milestones in addressing PPH around the world to improve maternal health and achieve the maternal health-related SDG targets.
As part of our work within the maternal health field, Rabin Martin is committed to helping our clients generate evidence, disseminate research and critical findings, and develop action strategies to address critical maternal health gaps, including PPH. We also work with our clients to uniquely influence localized action planning to ensure global guidelines like the PPH roadmap reach those on the ground.
Across all therapeutic focus areas and disciplines, Rabin Martin is committed to helping our clients build communications/ marketing, partnerships, and implementation strategies to equitably diffuse their innovations across and within health systems to ensure all patients, no matter their background, have access to the medicines, treatments, and services they need to live a healthy life.
Learning 3: We need to talk more about climate change and the impact our changing environment has on our health and wider health care systems
During IMNHC, there was only one session that specifically discussed the impact of climate change on maternal health outcomes. This year, a record number of 339 million people will require humanitarian aid – that’s 1 in every 23 people on our planet. This number will continue to grow amid climate change, as natural disasters, heat waves, and pandemics/epidemics increase in frequency. As we saw during the Covid-19 pandemic, many systems around the world lack the infrastructure, financing, and support to maintain their essential health services amid local climate-related shocks and threats; nor do these systems have the resilience necessary to recover and return to pre-pandemic operations quickly.
At Rabin Martin, we are looking into how we can best help our clients embed a climate lens into their health business strategy(ies) and ways of working. This year, we will work to raise awareness around the impact of climate change across priority therapeutic areas, and wider health systems, and identify opportunities to mitigate and adapt to these challenges within the work we do at Rabin Martin and with our clients. Everyone has a role to play in climate mitigation and adaptation and we look forward to working closely with organizations who are committed to this work.