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Merck For Mothers

Merck For Mothers

Did you know that the maternal mortality rate in the U.S. has nearly doubled since 1990, despite significant progress in reducing rates globally? I knew that there were issues with women dying due to maternal mortality but I had no ideas it was such a prevalent issue. During a recent interview with Dr. Priya Agrawal, Executive Director of Merck for Mothersand obstetrician/gynecologist regarding a women’s health issue impacting women around the world and here in the U.S.

Merck For Mothers

During our chat I learned about this growing issue and how more than 50,000 women a year, one every 10 minutes, nearly die from complications of pregnancy or childbirth. This seems unheard of in our modern times, but the fact is "the U.S. has the worst rate of maternal mortality among industrialized nations, ranking 47th worldwide."

We spoke about the causes and she noted that the leading causes of maternal death in the U.S. include blood clot (embolism), excessive bleeding (obstetric hemorrhage), and severe high blood pressure (preeclampsia).

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So what can be do? Becoming educated by programs like Merck for Mothers is a start as they enhance community initiatives that coordinate care for high-risk women before, during, and after childbirth. They are also working towards implementing standard approaches to address obstetric emergencies; and strengthening data collection and reviews to better understand why maternal deaths are occurring and use that knowledge to improve practices and patient care. Bottom line it is also key that women (and their spouses) say something if something doesn't seem right. Dr. Priya spoke about a husband whose wife was having a hard time after giving birth and was persistent with the hospital to have her checked out. After finally getting her checked, they discovered that she had a blood clot, and thus saved her life.

I also learned more about the Merck for Mothers program, a 10-year, $500 million dollar initiative to create a world where no woman dies giving life. Drawing on Merck’s history of discovering innovative, life-saving medicines and vaccines, Merck for Mothers is applying the company’s scientific and business expertise – as well as its financial and human resources – to reduce maternal mortality around the world. Merck for Mothers is focused on access to quality care, product innovation, and awareness and advocacy. .

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