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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Topics / Maternal, Newborn, & Child Health

Safeguarding the health of mothers and young children is one of the world’s most urgent priorities and a core focus of our work. Every year in developing countries, millions of mothers and their babies die during childbirth or in the first months of life. These deaths can be prevented.

Learn more below and visit the program page for more details about our work in this area.

Ending Preventable Stillbirths

We must unite our efforts to ensure that no more preventable lives are lost giving birth. By making sure all women are receiving good quality care during pregnancy and childbirth over the next 15 years in the 75 countries with the worst stillbirth rates, we could prevent 823,000 stillbirths, 1,145,000 newborn deaths, and 166,000 deaths of pregnant women each year.

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Walking a Marathon to Give Birth

Every year, around 300,000 women and 2.8 newborns die during pregnancy and childbirth – more than half in sub-Saharan Africa – and many of these deaths occur because women live miles away from the care they need during childbirth and lack the transportation they need to get there.

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Equity: A platform for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and promoting human rights

If we want to ensure a more equitable future, we need to focus on three key dimensions of measuring equity: monitoring, evaluation, and action.

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New Hope for Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Prevention

A new vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) could provide an opportunity to close the gap in access to RSV prevention between developed and developing countries by enabling an accessible and affordable tool for developing countries.

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New Approaches to Help All Children Thrive

Focused on developing new tools and holistic approaches to help mothers and children thrive in the developing world by ensuring a healthy birth for both mother and child and setting children on a path to healthy physical growth and cognitive development, “All Children Thriving” includes recent initiatives and commitments from Grand Challenges Canada (Saving Brains); the Saving Lives at Birth partnership (including the US Agency for International Development, the Government of Norway, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada, the UK Department for International Development, and the Korea International Cooperation Agency); and a set of four new and interlinked initiatives, three through Grand Challenges partnerships in Brazil, India, and South Africa, and one from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Creating and Measuring Integrated Solutions for Healthy Birth, Growth, and Development).

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