2021 Motherhood Collective Impact Programme Report

Investing in safer motherhood means investing in the future

Introduction from the Programme Director

Investing in maternal health means investing in a better future for everyone. However, maternal care is often undervalued and under-resourced. Maternal health is often not considered a priority, and this has been further brought to light in the current pandemic. The difficult challenges faced by women during the pandemic have been further complicated with the lack of information available on the safety of medicines and vaccines for women and newborns.

In 2021, our aim was to create further proof that the only way to make lasting change in maternal health is for diverse stakeholders - women, healthcare professionals, industry, academics, public health organizations, governments and beyond - to truly collaborate on developing sustainable solutions around a shared goal.

All society has been impacted since the unprecedented health crisis, with additional challenges faced by women, newborns, and healthcare professionals. In the face of this new reality, Safe Motherhood Week 2021 continued to highlight the impact of Covid-19 on maternal health and reproductive care, as well as the need to reduce the information gap on the safety of medication during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Our goals were twofold: 1) to demonstrate that maternal and newborn care is still suboptimal, further brought to light by the pandemic; 2) to raise awareness of the information gap on the safety of medicines before and during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Our activities this year were inspired by the survey launched during Safe Motherhood Week 2020 to understand women’s and HCP needs and preferences in reproductive care in the face of this new reality. To be able to prioritise gaps and opportunities in maternal care that COVID-19 brings and to be able to make recommendations to the maternal health community. The survey generated +500 responses to date from all over the world, and the many emotional stories that women shared about their care experiences during COVID show clear evidence for the need for maternal and neonatal care to be taken more seriously as a global priority.

Maternal Health Synapse now provides users with an enhanced user experience at different levels and grew over 100 new organisations, over 20 new initiatives and approx. 400 maternal health events in comparison to 2020.

In 2022, we will continue our objective to show the value of collaborating across diverse stakeholders and geographic borders to sustainably solve maternal and neonatal health issues. We will be further exploring where MCIP can play a role in maternal health in a post-Covid world. Advocating for equitable access to maternal healthcare will be a guiding principle this year.

Helena Harnik

Executive Director MCIP

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2021 Achievements

  • Safe Motherhood Week 2021

Safe Motherhood Week 2021

This year Safe Motherhood Week highlighted the impact of COVID-19 on maternal health and reproductive care, as well as the need to reduce the information gap on the safety of medication during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Safe Motherhood Week Survey in collaboration with IMI ConcePTION themed “Identify women’s and HCP expectations and needs in maternal care post COVID-19” has been concluded and the results will be available soon.

Contribution to ConcePTION

In 2021 we continued our contribution to an important EU-wide initiative on the safety use of medicines in pregnancy and breastfeeding, IMI ConcePTION. In 2021, we supported the ongoing tasks in communicating to women and healthcare professionals (WP5) and in developing a sustainability strategy for ConcePTION deliverables including the milk biobank network, information knowledge bank and pregnancy and medication studies (WP8.7) .

Within WP5, the Synergist contributes to two tasks. In Task 5.2, we are cocreatingan EU-centralised publicly accessible and sustainable information knowledge bank for up-to-date information about drug use during pregnancy and lactation as well as contributing to raising awareness of the information gap in medicines use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. We also contribute to Task 5.3, which aims to develop and execute general communication methods for increasing awareness about the importance of reporting through pharmacovigilance systems and participation in research during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

In WP8.7, the Synergist plays a role in the development of sustainability plans for ConcePTIONdeliverables for when the project ends, so that the value generated by the ConcePTION ecosystem may continue.

The Motherhood Collective Impact Team

The Motherhood Collective Impact Team consists of:

  • Nicholas Brooke

    Executive Director

  • Helena Harnik

    Synergist Programs Director

  • Jean-Christophe Capelle

    Financial Director

  • Roxana Radu

    Communications Manager

  • Gulwish Ahmed

    Communications Assistant

  • Lise Brooke

    Growth Hacker

  • Danielle Barron

    Chief Editor, Motherhood Projects