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“MSD for Mothers”: Merck’s Social Commitment

How to help end preventable maternal mortality

September 10th, 2018
Ilaria Zornada, News from Berlin

The death of a woman from complications of pregnancy and childbirth is a tragedy and the ripple effect on families, communities and nations is devastating. Her baby is 15 times more likely to die before age two and her other children are more likely to leave school, suffer from poor health, or die prematurely.

According to the World Health Organization, most maternal deaths are preventable. Thanks to the access to modern contraception and quality maternal health care before, during, and after childbirth, over the last 25 years, we’ve seen a nearly 50 per cent decline in the number of women who die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth globally.

MSD for Mothers is Merck's 10-year initiative to help end preventable maternal mortality.

Merck applies its scientific and business expertise, as well as financial resources, to reduce mortality worldwide. The aim is to improve access to quality maternal health care that women receive in health facilities at the time of childbirth and to improve access to family planning services.

Within the initiative, there are more than 50 projects in more than 30 countries around the world, mainly in India, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia. The goal is to design and test innovative models that expand women’s access to quality care, providing training in maternal care services and promoting health-seeking behaviors.

MSD for Mothers focuses on three main targets:

  • Strengthening health systems to benefit women and their communities, equipping health care providers to save women’s lives, with the skills, tools and technologies they need to deliver high-quality services wherever women seek care
  • Placing lifesaving maternal health products in the hands of women and their providers
  • Empowering women to seek the care they deserve, to make informed choices about contraceptives and to get the quality care they need for a healthy pregnancy and safe childbirth.

More than 50 employees across the company are heavily engaged in MSD for Mothers, providing technical expertise to support our product innovation efforts and strengthen our programs.

There are now more than 430 employee ambassadors in 28 countries who help support the annual “May is for Mothers” campaign, which reaches employees at more than 80 sites worldwide. Employees have participated in additional activities, including assembling postnatal kits for mothers, coordinating mobile phone collections and donations, sharing information about MSD for Mothers with their peers at internal meetings, and volunteering with local non-profit organizations related to maternal health care


News from Berlin