Partnering to save mother’s lives in Jamaica

MSD in the Caribbean is partnering in Jamaica with INMED Partnerships for Children, an international humanitarian development organization, to implement the Community Health Awareness for Adolescent Reproductive and Maternal Care Project (CHAARM).

The CHAARM project will raise awareness of critical adolescent maternal and reproductive health issues and increase access to care among high-risk youth in Trelawny Parish, Jamaica, which has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the country. Trained youth health aides will carry out community-based outreach, education and a mobile health campaign, disseminating information as the first line of defense in preventing high-risk teenage pregnancies and ultimately adolescent maternal mortality.

“More than one in every four births in Trelawny are to teens, and yet adolescent pregnancy remains associated with such stigma in Jamaica that more than half of pregnant teens do not seek early prenatal care, putting them and their babies at risk for complications,” says INMED President Dr. Linda Pfeiffer. “With the support of MSD for Mothers, we can reach both male and female adolescents with relevant, judgment-free education on a wide range of reproductive health issues to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, and link them to vital health services when they need them most.”

Over the next decade, it is estimated that nearly three million women will die from complications due to pregnancy and childbirth globally. The majority of these deaths are preventable. When a woman dies, the ripple effect on families and communities is enormous. Her baby is more likely to die before the age of two and her other children are more likely to leave school, suffer from poor health, and die prematurely.

MSD in the Caribbean is supporting CHAARM through a grant as part of the MSD for Mothers Global Giving Program, which has issued grants in almost 20 countries across the globe.

“The death of a woman from complications during pregnancy and childbirth is one of the world's oldest and most preventable global health tragedies, said Dr. Cesar Simich, Managing Director for MSD in the Caribbean. “We are very pleased to be supporting INMED Partnerships for Children on this new program that will help strengthen maternal health services in Jamaica with the goal of saving women's lives.”

MSD for Mothers is a 10-year, half-billion-dollar initiative to create a world where no woman has to die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth. Drawing on the company's history of discovering innovative, life-saving medicines and vaccines, MSD for Mothers is applying the company’s scientific and business expertise—as well as its financial resources and experience in taking on tough global healthcare challenges—to reduce maternal mortality around the world. As part of its focus, the program seeks to accelerate access to proven solutions; help ensure prevention, diagnostic, and treatment technologies reach women in need; and support public awareness, improved policies, and broader private-sector engagement in the area of maternal health.

The MSD for Mothers Global Giving Program will focus on helping countries reduce maternal mortality and improve maternal health with the overall aim of supporting United Nations Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5, which calls for a 75% reduction in maternal mortality and universal access to reproductive health by 2015.

For more information, please visit www.MSDforMothers.com and http://www.inmed.org/april-7-2013-world-health-day/#jamaica.