In Defense of Misoprostol – Protecting Women’s Rights to Lifesaving Maternal Health Care
In 2011, the World Health Organization added the drug misoprostol to its Essential Medicines List for the prevention of postpartum hemorrhage (PPH). Postpartum hemorrhage is the single greatest direct cause of maternal mortality, accounting for 25 percent of deaths worldwide. The addition of misoprostol represented a great step forward in global efforts to make delivery safer for women everywhere, especially in resource-poor settings, where women suffer disproportionately and treatment options are limited.
However, this month, a study was published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine that questions the WHO’s decision. Leading experts at Pathfinder International, including Ellen Israel and Cathy Solter, have carefully reviewed this new study and find its methodology flawed. Pathfinder also question its authors’ understanding of epidemiology and the realities of global maternal health. Misoprostol saves lives by contracting the uterus to reduce or stop bleeding, and is currently the only uterotonic that is heat stable, easily transportable, and easily administered. Pathfinder is deeply concerned that this study—despite its numerous deficiencies—might affect the availability of misoprostol, denying women access to the essential, lifesaving measure they need.
For more perspective on this study and information about the importance of misoprostol, read our newly released Technical Memo.
Please contact Kate Stookey, Director of Public Affairs, at 617-972-1231 or email@example.com
Pathfinder has indicated interest to support Niger State Government’s through an holistic health reform agenda to provide affordable and qualitative healthcare services for Nigerlites.
On August 16, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation announced Pathfinder as one of the 2016 Quality Innovation Challenge awardees. The Quality Innovation Challenge is a global call for creative ideas to improve quality in sexual and reproductive health and rights for adolescents and youth.