Women are essential to social and economic progress yet they shoulder some of the greatest burdens of preventable disease and death. According to the World Health Organization, 303,000 women died as a result of pregnancy and childbirth in 2015 alone, disproportionately in poorer regions of the world. These women often leave children without anyone to protect and care for them, which contributes to staggering under-5 mortality rates. In 2015, 5.9 million newborns and toddlers died.
Since a child’s health is so dependent on its mother’s health, Texas Children’s and Baylor College of Medicine collaborate with public and private partners in regions of greatest need to increase access to and improve delivery of women's health services. These wide-ranging obstetric and gynecological services include family planning, maternity care, and identification of preexisting conditions that may hamper a healthy delivery such as malnutrition, obstetric fistula, TB and HIV.
Texas Children’s offers community education on the benefits of smaller families, childhood nutrition and a host of other maternal and child health subjects.
Its clinical research leads to better outcomes for mothers and children worldwide.
In Malawi, the program helped found the country’s first OB/GYN residency program at the Malawi College of Medicine in Lilongwe. This included curriculum development, providing direct OB/GYN services to patients and training local healthcare providers. U.S.-based residents and fellows from Baylor College of Medicine rotate through the program in Malawi, which helps build their skills in a high-volume setting.
Texas Children’s OB/GYN staff work with multiple partners in China, Colombia, Malawi and Papua New Guinea. It also trains fellows interested in working in global women’s health.