Despite progress, maternal, neonatal and under-five mortality rates remain high in many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). In 2015, approximately 303,000 women died as a result of complications from pregnancy and childbirth. Globally, an estimated 5.9 million children under the age of 5 die each year, with 2.7 million of these fatalities occurring within the first month of life. Community-based interventions — especially those delivered by trained community health workers — are an important means for improving health care delivery, and evidence suggests that they are effective in reducing maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality. A bottom-up policy supported by the government that actively involves communities and integrates community care subsystems into the primary care health system has the potential to bring about substantial improvements in health. At this event, Zulfiqar A. Bhutta, Ph.D., discussed current government-supported policy initiatives to scale up community-based interventions among marginalized populations within LMICs, and the challenges and opportunities these policies present.
This event was sponsored by the Baker Institute Center for Health and Biosciences, the Rice 360º Institute for Global Health and Baylor College of Medicine. Follow @BakerInstitute on Twitter and join the conversation online with #BakerHealth.
4:30 pm — Reception
5:00 pm — Presentation
Welcome and Introduction
Farhan Majid, Ph.D.
L.E. and Virginia Simmons Fellow in Health and Technology Policy
Zulfiqar A. Bhutta, Ph.D., is the Inaugural Robert Harding Chair in Global Child Health at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), co-director of the SickKids Centre for Global Child Health and founding director of the Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health at the Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan. He also holds adjunct professorships at several universities, including Johns Hopkins University, Tufts University, Boston University, the University of Alberta and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. He has been named a distinguished national professor by the government of Pakistan and served as the founding chair of Pakistan’s National Research Ethics Committee from 2003–2014. Bhutta is a co-chair of the Maternal and Child Health Oversight Committee for the World Health Organization’s eastern Mediterranean region and chairman of The Coalition of Centres in Global Child Health. As the president of the International Pediatric Association, he is a leading voice for health professionals supporting integrated maternal, newborn and child health globally. He also heads a large research team in Pakistan working on both regional and global issues of maternal, newborn and child survival and nutrition. Bhutta received a bachelor of medicine, bachelor of surgery degree from the University of Peshawar in Peshawar, Pakistan, and obtained his Ph.D. from the Karolinska Institute in Solna, Sweden.