Despite international commitments to eradicate avoidable deaths in childbirth, progress has stagnated, leaving vulnerable women and newborns without access to life-saving medicines, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa where maternal and neonatal mortality rates remain alarmingly high.
Iyer cites a concerning global situation where a woman dies every two minutes during pregnancy or childbirth, and over 6,000 neonatal deaths occur daily. While approximately 30 countries show progress in reducing maternal and newborn deaths, the majority of resource-poor nations experience stagnant or worsening mortality rates.
The op-ed questions the failure to meet the UN's sustainable development goals and highlights post-partum hemorrhage (PPH) as a leading cause of maternal deaths, emphasising the need to bridge the gap between established guidance and on-the-ground medical practices.
Iyer underscores the urgency of prioritising women's health globally, advocating for improved access to essential interventions like antibiotics and drugs for managing complications of labor. She calls on pharmaceutical companies to play a crucial role in providing affordable access to these products, emphasising the need for a coordinated effort from the global health community to address issues such as antimicrobial resistance and outdated attitudes hindering better maternal care.