Skip to 0 minutes and 11 secondsWENDY GRAHAM: Welcome to Week 3. My name is Wendy Graham, and I am the Professor of Obstetric Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. And I have the pleasure of acting as the moderator for this maternal health week of the MOOC and introducing here its purpose and the different steps. Maternal health, meaning simply health before, during, and after pregnancy and childbirth, affects an estimated 210 million women each year. It is clearly, therefore, a huge global issue, and one which also varies hugely across the world in terms of the nature of maternal health problems, the drivers, the interventions, and the consequences.

Skip to 0 minutes and 48 secondsIn this week, we will unpack this variation and enable learners to develop an appreciation of the challenges and the opportunities in achieving the new targets for maternal health and survival, which form part of Sustainable Development Goal Number Three. On completion of this week, participants in the MOOC should have achieved three learning objectives. Firstly, to be able to describe why maternal survival and health remains a priority issue, especially in poor resource settings. Secondly, to be able to summarise the key strategies that should be put in place in order to address the problems. And thirdly, to be able to outline the likely factors impacting on the future of maternal health.

Skip to 1 minute and 26 secondsIn the beginning of the week, learners will be made aware of how the concepts and frameworks for defining the burden of ill health that women can experience before, during, and after pregnancy and childbirth. Learners will then be introduced to a range of strategies available to prevent adverse outcomes and improve health. This will be followed with a case study of maternal death, which will bring to life the drivers of such tragedies, and the missed opportunities to prevent them. And we will finish the week with an account of the future challenges to reaching international development targets for maternal survival and well-being.

Skip to 1 minute and 59 secondsWe hope all learners will come away well-informed by the content of each step, which has been drawn on by key experts, both within and beyond the London School. And we also hope that learners will feel inspired to share and apply the knowledge they have acquired, and so become part of the global community striving to ensure better survival and well-being for women and their newborns.

Welcome to Week 3

Welcome to Week 3 of the course, titled Maternal Health and Safe Motherhood. I’m Professor Wendy Graham, a professor of obstetric epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the leader for this week of the course.

This week will consider maternal health: the health of women before, during, and after pregnancy. Improving maternal health has been one of the priorities set forth by the Sustainable Development Goals agenda, and while significant headway has been made to reduce levels of maternal mortality across the world, there are still many countries in which giving life can be dangerous.

What will we learn?

By the end of this week you should be able to:

  • Describe why maternal survival and health remains an issue.
  • Summarise the key strategies that should be put in place to impact on levels of maternal mortality and morbidity.
  • Outline the factors impacting on the future of maternal health.

Structure and content

We’ll start the week by thinking about what we mean by maternal mortality and morbidity, and consider specific features of maternal health, such as how many women die, and when and why that happens. The next activities will introduce a range of strategies available to prevent adverse outcomes and improve health. We will then discuss a case study of a maternal death which will help learners to identify factors leading to such tragedies. We will close the week with an account of the future challenges for reaching international targets for maternal survival and wellbeing.

Some of the best minds at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine have come together to prepare this week’s content. We very much hope you will enjoy this week!

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This video is from the free online course:

Improving the Health of Women, Children and Adolescents: from Evidence to Action

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine