The British based journal, Reproductive Health Matters has issued a call for papers to appear in its May 2012 issue. While this is an unlikely forum for prolife academics, we are all committed to answering the question posed for the May issue, “how can we reduce maternal mortality?” The call for papers can be found here. The bias of the journal can be seen in some of the propsed topics below, but some topics are well within the expertise and interest of some UFL members.
RHM seeks papers about why some countries are reducing maternal deaths and others are not and what has changed in the past decade:
•what national programmes and services exist? what do they consist of? what have they achieved and not achieved? who regulates and monitors them? who is paying for them?
•do countries know what they need to know and how to find it out? how are they measuring progress? why is there progress in some places and no progress in others?
•are the same women dying now as 10 and 20 years ago, or different women?
•have more women begun attending antenatal and delivery care with a skilled attendant? post-partum care (if there is any)? what led more of them to start doing so? or if not, why not?
•what is the content and quality of maternity and abortion care? which health professionals are providing it? what competencies have they attained and are they able to use them?
•how to resolve the seemingly unending debate about TBAs [traditional birth attendants]? has anything changed for women since 1987 in countries where TBAs still attend most deliveries?
•are more countries carrying out verbal autopsies, sisterhood studies, maternal death audits, than a decade ago? are they keeping good clinical records, analysing and using them to make change happen?
•has information about maternal morbidity increased? is attention to the women who survive complications also increasing or not? is there more and more effective care for complications of unsafe abortion than 10 or 20 years ago? is D&C being replaced by MVA?
•are lifesaving essential drugs, equipment and procedures to treat obstetric complications and emergencies more available in resource-poor countries than in the past? how is the international war by big pharma against generic and affordable drugs affecting maternity and abortion care?
•what about midwifery and abortion training for health professionals in hospitals, primary care and the community – is that happening or increasing? are there fewer shortages? are there really more skilled attendants – what do those words mean in the training curriculum and practice?
•deaths from complications of unsafe abortion have fallen in some parts of the global South in the absence of law reform – why? have countries moved forward on making abortion safe and legal?
•why is unsafe abortion a dirty word in influential safe motherhood circles again, or not mentioned at all?
•are infants and children taking resources and attention away from women’s needs, in spite of the “continuum of care” ideal?
•why is maternal mortality no longer addressed as a part of sexual and reproductive health and rights?
•why only “mothers”? pregnancy doesn’t happen only to mothers – why have the MDGs [UN Millenium Development Goals] been allowed to make a comprehensive women’s health agenda obsolete?