July 13, 2012
The Summit on Family Planning drew policy makers, donors and health professionals to London on 11 July to discuss how to provide access to contraceptives to more of the world’s poorest women who want them. The goal going forward is to enable an additional 120 million women in poor countries to use modern family methods. Organizers say this will save the lives of 200,000 women who will otherwise die from pregnancy or childbirth; prevent 110 million unwanted pregnancies; result in 50 million fewer abortions; and save the lives of three million babies. Dr.Â Gary L. Darmstadt, a pediatrician with broad experience in research, teaching and development strategies, leads the mother and child health and nutrition teams at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which co-hosted the summit with the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development. He spoke with AllAfrica before the Summit began.
Do you see maternal mortality, child survival andÂ newborn survival as related issues?
They are very much interrelated issues. Where mothers don’t survive, the survival and the health and well-being of the children is markedly adversely affected. And the health of the newborn and the young child are fundamentally linked to the health of the mother.Â For example, the nutrition of the mother is so important in setting the stage for child health.
There is a ‘thousand day window’……..