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Frontline health workers, family planning, and education are all essential to reducing maternal mortality in Asia, says IntraHealth International’s Laurie Noto Parker in Investing in Asia, a supplement to the December 21, 2012, issue of USA Today.
Parker served as an expert source in the article titled “Maternal Health: More than an Instinct,” where she explained some of the challenges to combating maternal mortality worldwide, as well as some interventions that have been proven to work.
“Evidence shows that the two most transformative things are educating girls and getting family planning to women who want it,” she says. And in the near term, frontline health workers who are educated and well-supervised—such as those IntraHealth has worked with through the Vistaar Project—can make a great difference.
“The big solutions are not OB-GYNs or hospitals, but minimally trained community health workers who can interface with hard-to-reach women,” Parker notes.
Parker is the director of IntraHealth’s Asia, Latin America, and Middle East programs. She has two decades of experience in international maternal, child, and reproductive health.