Bridging Equity Gaps and Improving the Quality of Maternal and Newborn Health Care Post-2015: How Will We Hold Ourselves Accountable?

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on October 17, 2015October 13, 2016By: Emily Peca, Technical Advisor, Translating Research into Action (TRAction), University Research Co. LLCClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The global public health community has made significant gains to date improving maternal and newborn health, but as we approach the post-2015 landscape, we are confronted with the important and ambitious objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals. Goal 3 states that we must, “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages,” and the first two targets of this goal are to reduce maternal mortality and end preventable deaths of newborns and children under age 5.[i] If we are to narrow equity gaps and improve quality, we must investigate what is happening among populations who have historically been socially excluded. As such, the 2015 Global Maternal Newborn Health Conference (GMNHC) in Mexico City has chosen three timely and important themes: quality, equity and integration. These cross-cutting themes invite us out of our topical or service-specific silos to confront critical dimensions of care that, if addressed, will improve health outcomes and increase the likelihood of achieving the SDGs.Let’s consider the example of Latin America, which is known for significant improvements in terms of development, but marked by extreme disparities. The maternal mortality ratio in Latin America (excluding the Caribbean) has reduced over time from 130 in 1990 to 77 per 100,000 in 2013.[ii] Additionally, 94% of pregnant women in Latin America and the Caribbean have a skilled birth attendant present at their deliveries.[iii] Despite these overall gains, maternal mortality ratios range widely from 22 per 100,000 in Uruguay to 200 per 100,000 in Bolivia.[iv] Those at highest risk of not receiving adequate care are the geographically isolated, rural poor residing in certain low- and middle-income countries.[v]Guatemala, which has the second highest maternal mortality ratio in Latin America, is a great example of how one half of the population drives up national gains in health and development and thus masks underlying disparities. The other half of the population that identifies as indigenous has disproportionately lower health and development outcomes, including a maternal mortality ratio that may be three times that of the non-indigenous population.[vi] Not only are indigenous populations located on the fringes of the formal health system and less likely to seek care, but they are also more likely to be disrespected and abused during facility-based childbirth compared to non-indigenous populations when they do seek care, as our forthcoming research shows. How will we achieve progress if we further marginalize the most vulnerable?Failure to address the needs of “left behind” populations will hinder the achievement of national and global maternal health goals and targets such as universal health coverage and the SDGs.[vii] As we forge ahead to improve maternal and newborn care, we should ask ourselves: Do we know what works? Why it works? And how it works in particular contexts? Equally as important, do our approaches improve equity and enhance the provision of high quality care?At the GMNHC conference, I look forward to discussing how the global community will be accountable in our efforts to facilitate equitable and high-quality services across the continuum of care. A critical and honest assessment of our program implementation will hold us accountable to our investments, safeguard target populations from shouldering unintended consequences and inform policy makers and implementers about how to better serve their communities.__[i] United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015 – Health. (n.d.). Retrieved from[ii] World Health Organization et al. (2014). Trends in Maternal Mortality: 1990 to 2013. Estimates by WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, The World Bank and the United Nations Population Division. ISBN 978 92 4 150722 6. World Health Organization.[iii] Boerma, J. T. (2015). World Health Organization, Department of Health Statistics and Information Systems, and World Bank. Tracking Universal Health Coverage: First Global Monitoring Report.[iv] World Health Organization et. al. (2014).[v] Byrne, A., Hodge, A., Jimenez-Soto, E. and Morgan, A. (2014). What Works? Strategies to Increase Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health in Difficult to Access Mountainous Locations: A Systematic Literature Review. Edited by Zulfiqar A. Bhutta. PLoS ONE 9(2): e87683. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0087683.[vi] Shiffman, J. and Garces del Valle, A.L. (2006). Political History and Disparities in Safe Motherhood between Guatemala and Honduras. Population and Development Review 32(1): 53–80. doi:10.1111/j.1728-4457.2006.00105.x.[vii] Boerma, J. T. (2015). World Health Organization, Department of Health Statistics and Information Systems, and World Bank. Tracking Universal Health Coverage: First Global Monitoring Report. this:last_img read more

House Flipping Remains Preferred Strategy Among Investors

first_imgHouse Flipping Remains Preferred Strategy Among Investors A nationwide survey conducted by, a leading online real estate marketplace, showed a continuation in January of a trend seen in the fourth quarter of 2014—that of investors’ preference to flip houses rather than rent them out.Even as the demand for rental housing has increased in most markets, investors continue to prefer to flip houses due to a recent combination of price appreciation and decreased inventory, according to About 50.2 percent of investors surveyed in January said they preferred to flip the homes they purchased, while 47.5 percent said they prefer a hold-to-rent strategy (2.2 percent surveyed said they were undecided). These percentages were little changed from Q4.”Considering recent reports that have suggested a shortage of rental units in some metropolitan areas, we’d expect to see more investors starting to move toward a buy-and-hold strategy to address this market opportunity,” EVP Rick Sharga said. “We know anecdotally that some flippers purchase homes specifically to sell them to other investors who repurpose the properties as rental units. But, it will be interesting to see if more investors move away from flipping and towards rental strategies over the next few months if demand for rental housing continues to rise.”Though the survey found that more investors preferred flipping over renting overall in January, the results varied according to the investor profile and the type of auction (live versus online). Among investors making a one-time purchase, 67.5 percent preferred a hold-to-rent strategy compared to 29.1 percent who said they preferred to flip. The majority of real estate investors preferred flipping over renting (51.7 percent to 46.3 percent), while investors working on behalf of another investor also showed a propensity toward flipping over renting out the properties they purchased (60.2 percent compared to 37.6 percent).Investors who purchased their properties through live auctions appeared to show a preference toward flipping in January. Flipping was the preferred strategy over renting in all but two of the 10 states where conducted live events during the month: Georgia and Missouri. The state with the highest percentage of investors who purchased properties at live auctions and preferred flipping was Arizona, with 74.3 percent compared to 20 percent who said they would rent. Overall, 56.2 percent of investors who purchased properties at live auctions in January said they preferred to flip, compared to 41 percent who said they intended to rent the properties out.Meanwhile, 54.9 percent of investors surveyed in January who purchased properties through online auctions said they intended to rent, compared to 43.4 percent who said they preferred flipping. Home Flipping Investors Rental Properties 2015-02-16 Seth Welborn February 16, 2015 554 Views center_img Share in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, Newslast_img read more