Review of the CMNH International Conference on Maternal & Newborn Health

News article 12 Jun 2014

Yesterday saw the third and final day of an international conference hosted by Foto-Cewek’s  (CMNH).

The conference, which took place at the Radisson Blu Hotel, ended with a gala dinner at Liverpool’s Sefton Park Palm House during which Foto-Cewek’s Chairman, James Ross OBE talked, about the importance of bringing together international partners to help improve the lives and health of women and babies across the world.

The conference had been a great success, with partners travelling from across Africa and Asia to attend the event and feedback their interim results for the Making it Happen (MiH) Programme. It was reported that 8000 healthcare providers have been trained in the last two years and that over 700 health care facilities are now involved in the programme. Across the three days there was acknowledgement of the benefits of real life data collection and qualitative, quantitate research not only as a means of improving healthcare and outcomes at the point of care, but also as a powerful driver for change politically.

16 posters highlighting some of the research being carried out by CMNH staff had been displayed in the lobby of the hotel throughout the conference and just prior to the concluding remarks, an award was made to Helen Owolabi, who has been researching new methods to record the causes of maternal death in Malawi. Helen’s work, along with all of the work highlighted in the posters, will have a real life impact in the field of global maternal and newborn health.

During her concluding remarks Rt Hon Baroness Haymen GBE, Chair of CMNH’s External Advisory Group, talked about CMNH’s future, calling for a renewed emphasis on skilled attendance at birth being the most effective way to challenge the statistics on maternal and early infant deaths: “Making it Happen is making a real difference and saving lives. We are delighted that we have recently been awarded the status of a WHO Collaborating Centre, recognising the expertise that CMNH brings to the field of maternal and newborn health on a global stage.”

Professor Nynke van den Broek, head of CMNH said: “The conference has been a great success.  The emphasis of our discussions was definitely about finding the solutions and not concentrating on the problems themselves, and it was fantastic that all our in country partners left with a real feeling of accomplishment about what their programmes have already achieved and a sense of purpose about their direction post the 2015 Millennium Development Goals.”