08 March 2021 | Statements

Improving outcomes for women and children – Unitaid publishes its RMNCH Thematic Narrative

Geneva – Despite the progress in decreasing the global Reproductive Maternal Newborn Child Health (RMNCH) burden over the last 30 years, the SDG targets[1] will not be achieved on the current trajectory.

In 2017 almost 300,000 women died as a result of pregnancy or childbirth; and an estimated 2.5 million newborns died in the first month –  50% of all deaths of children under five.

Building on the success of recent integrated approaches to care – including in the management of childhood fever, prevention and screening of cervical cancer, and elimination of congenital infection in Chagas disease – Unitaid is expanding the scope of its activities in RMNCH. This expansion complements a rich existing portfolio of HIV, TB and malaria grants that target maternal and newborn health.

Published to mark International Women’s Day 2021, this RMNCH Thematic Narrative provides an update on the global landscape of RMNCH, highlighting commodity access challenges and identifying potential areas where Unitaid investment could deliver highest impact.

The Narrative highlights how Unitaid’s role in catalyzing innovation for scale-up could be effectively applied to help drive uptake of promising innovations in low- and middle income countries, and address key drivers of the RMNCH burden.

A number of opportunities were identified, including in the areas of diagnostics for pre-eclampsia and eclampsia, as well as the prevention and management of post-partum haemorrhage. These were recently endorsed by Unitaid’s Executive Board under the Area for Intervention, “New tools for reducing maternal mortality.”

As a result, Unitaid launched a new Call for Proposals in January 2021 – Better tools to prevent and treat postpartum hemorrhage.

The call is open until April 7th and is focused on catalyzing early adoption of new and recently-recommended drugs for postpartum hemorrhage in high-burden countries, as well as advancing late-stage development of new postpartum hemorrhage drug formulations and/or drug delivery methods.

More information can be found here


[1] SDG 3 “Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages”

3.1 By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100 000 live births.

3.2 By 2030, end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1000 live births and under-5 mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1000 live births.


Media contact: Charlotte Baker | +44 7904 460 181 | bakerc@unitaid.who.int

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