Top Strategies for Improving Maternal Mortality: Lessons from Haiti

By David Vanderpool, MD

Pregnant woman of color holding her belly.

As a humanitarian and medical nonprofit founder working in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake, I discovered several issues contributing to extremely high maternal and infant mortality rates in the region we served. By implementing a few key strategies to improve both, we decreased maternal mortality by 66%. I believe these same tactics could be used to address the issue here in the United States, which has just reported another sharp increase.  

The first and most beneficial step is education – not just about maternal health, but increasing education levels for women across the board. Beyond global access to primary education, we must make secondary and tertiary education more accessible to women from lower income brackets. Providing safe and affordable non-abortifacient birth control is necessary so women can pursue higher education, providing long-term benefits to their families and societies as they become leaders in the workplace…

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