Merck for Mothers AT TEDWOMEN

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“It’s unacceptable that in this day and age, 800 women around the world die every day from preventable complications of pregnancy and childbirth.” – Merck for Mothers Executive Director Dr. Priya Agrawal

Merck for Mothers, a $500 million initiative working in more than 30 countries around the world, recently helped raise awareness about the growing problem of maternal mortality in the U.S.at the TEDWomen conference in California, a three-day event focusing on the power of women and girls to be creators and change-makers. While many people may be aware that maternal mortality exists in the developing world, they are shocked to learn that the rate of women who die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth in the U.S. has actually doubled over the past 20 years.


Through a new video, Building MOMentum to #EndMaternalMortality, and in-person conversations, Merck for Mothers ambassadors stressed the importance of both learning about the problem and making sure that pregnant loved ones are talking with their healthcare professionals about potential pregnancy complications.


We can make a difference

“Maternal mortality here in the U.S. and also around the world is such an important issue – and we can make a difference,” said Dr. Agrawal. “We hope to inspire a new audience of influential social change-makers and this TED audience, which includes a motivated group of individuals who are leveraging mobile technology, robots, music, virtual reality and other innovative solutions to create change in the world, is an important step in continuing to raise awareness of this issue.”

Factors contributing to maternal mortality

While there are a range of factors contributing to this troubling trend of maternal mortality in the U.S., the reality is that more women are entering pregnancy with chronic conditions than ever before, and many lack access to comprehensive quality care before, during and after pregnancy. To help women get the care they need, Merck for Mothers is collaborating with physicians, nurses, community leaders and governments on initiatives that have the potential to improve the health of millions of women across the U.S. In an effort to help start the conversation, Merck for Mothers introduced a simple way we can all make a difference: encourage expectant families to have a PEP Talk.


 

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