Global science and technology company Merck has announced fifth round of grants in its Merck for Mothers Global Grants program dedicated to reducing maternal mortality in locations where there is the greatest need.
Merck for Mothers, the company’s global initiative launched in 2011 to help create a world where no woman has to die while giving life, supports the corporate grant program which enables Merck offices around the world to aid nongovernmental organizations that are improving maternal health.
The program is designed to be responsive to local women’s needs, focusing on how resources can contribute distinctively to increase health equity in maternity care and support.
Since its inception, the Global Grants program has supported over 60 diverse projects in more than 50 global sites, from Argentina to Vietnam, reaching over 3.5 million women and training more than 60,000 health care workers.
The first four rounds of Global Grants helped address barriers to seeking and receiving high-quality maternal health care and improving the overall health and wellbeing of women and girls of reproductive age. The fifth round of grantees across Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America will lead high-impact activities to improve maternal health and promote health equity ranging from access to quality care using innovative digital tools to education surrounding the health rights of women.
“Merck for Mothers has been part of our legacy of leveraging the private sector for public good for nearly a decade,” said Kenneth C. Frazier, chairman and chief executive officer, Merck. “More than 13 million women have benefitted from Merck for Mothers supported programs promoting safe, high-quality care as part of our company-wide commitment to help end preventable maternal deaths.”
“This new round of Global Grants projects holds great promise to help reduce disparities in maternal health outcomes and have an impact on women’s health and wellbeing while at the same time, strengthening health systems to make lasting improvements on how maternal health care is delivered today and tomorrow,” said Dr. Mary-Ann Etiebet, lead and executive director of Merck for Mothers.
According to the World Health Organization over 800 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth each day. To help reduce maternal mortality, these new grants are unique to their selected region, but all center on collective action to address maternal health and promote health equity:
“The Global Grants programs in the Asia Pacific region have reached millions of women through maternal health programs that promote safe birth practices, strengthen midwifery education, improve access to family planning, promote health-seeking behaviors and more, said Dorthe Mikkelsen, President, Asia Pacific, MSD. “We are pleased to have new programs in 2021 and the continued opportunities working with stakeholders from government, academia, non-profit and private sectors across the region to take a holistic approach to help address disparities in health care coverage and inequalities that impact quality maternal health.”