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On February 24, PATH and other global health organizations conducted a US Congressional briefing to raise awareness of preterm births and stillbirths. Dr. Goldy Mazia, PATH’s technical advisor for newborn health on the Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program, joined two other experts in a panel discussion to offer varying perspectives on the issues surrounding preterm births and stillbirths around the world.

The briefing, titled Solutions for Reducing Preterm Births and Stillbirths Worldwide, was hosted by the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth (GAPPS) and supported by PATH. In addition to Dr. Mazia, panelists included Dr. Eve Lackritz, the acting associate director for program development and acting senior advisor for global maternal and child health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Andrew Serazin, program officer for the global health program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The panel was moderated by Craig Rubens, co-founder and executive director of GAPPS.

Panelists present array of perspectives

The panelists presented field, governmental, and scientific perspectives on the issue. Dr. Maiza, who has extensive experience in the field, stressed the importance of low-cost mechanisms, programs, and technologies that have proven effective for reducing premature and still births in many different settings. She highlighted PATH’s incredible field work and the important steps PATH is taking to address this global health concern.

GAPPS was launched by Seattle Children’s Hospital to address the staggering number of stillbirths and premature births worldwide. The alliance aims to lead a collaborative global effort to increase awareness and accelerate innovative research and interventions that will improve maternal, newborn, and child health outcomes. The briefing was held to spur the policy community, policymakers, and global health stakeholders to help find solutions to the growing problem of preterm births and stillbirths worldwide.

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Posted March 18, 2010.