TGH NEWS: Women’s health must not be forgotten

In the coming weeks, the eyes and ears of the global health community should be firmly fixed on two exciting developments aiming to highlight, support and address the inequity and suffering associated with a continued global gap in maternal health.

The first is the official launch of the Year 1 Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF)-PLOS Collection on Maternal Health.. The MHTF is supported by Harvard School of Public Health and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who, together with PLOS, have created a collection to  improve women’s and children’s health worldwide through greater access to more comprehensive maternal health information and knowledge.

This Year 1 Collection has been accompanied by a recent call for papers for Year  2, which together aim to highlight and advocate for increased scientific evidence on maternal health and against a persistent lag in progress towards Millennium Development Goal 5. An important opportunity to further and share science in an under-explored domain, the Collection aims to reach out to researchers and professionals, medical professionals and policy makers worldwide.

The official launch of Year 1 will occur at the Global Maternal Health Conference, taking place in the middle of this month in Tanzania. Focusing on challenges to maternal health and disease, the Arusha meeting will see the launch of the first PLOS series on Quality of Maternal Health Care, with scientific contributions from India, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Ghana, Zambia, Nigeria, Lesotho and other parts of sub-Saharan Africa. Arusha will also see the formal call for papers for the second series this coming year entitled “Maternal health is women’s health – maternal health in the context of women’s health throughout their lifespans”.

The MHTF-PLOS Collection on Maternal Health is a three-year open access collection.

More information is available on the Year 2 call and conference, including live streaming of the plenary sessions, online or via the Twitter tag #GMHC2013.

Dr Alessandro Demaio is a medical doctor, originally from Melbourne, Australia, with a Masters in Public Health. In 2010, Sandro began a PhD in Global Health with the University of Copenhagen, focusing on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). His primary research project is based in Mongolia. As a Director for NCD Action, in 2013 Alessandro will be a fellow at the Copenhagen School of Global Health and Harvard Medical School.

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