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Nutrition specialist Dr. Altrena Mukuria describes the importance of nutrition for women and girls to members of Congress. Photo: PATH/James Ward.

PATH and our partners are reaching beyond health facilities in Africa to connect with mothers in their communities and educate them about health and nutrition, Dr. Altrena Mukuria, an international nutrition specialist partnering with PATH, told members of Congress earlier this month in Washington, DC.

As one of three panelists at a congressional briefing on maternal health, development, and nutrition, Dr. Mukuria, DrPH, MPH, described the importance of nutrition for girls and women from birth through motherhood and explained the dire consequences of malnutrition. She emphasized the need for nutrition to go from being an afterthought or an isolated intervention to an essential part of an integrated approach to improving maternal health.

The June 12 briefing was sponsored by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and cohosted by the Global Health Council. Dr. Mukuria was joined on the panel by Dr. Stephen B. Blount, director of the Coordinating Office for Global Health at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Dr. Daniel A. Singer, associate director for global health research and international activities at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Blount and Dr. Singer both described the global toll of poor maternal health and what their respective agencies are doing to address it. Dr. Singer also highlighted health technologies that are helping to save the lives of mothers and children in low-resource settings, including the Uniject® prefilled, single-use injection device developed by PATH and now being used to deliver lifesaving medicine to women during childbirth.

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Posted June 24, 2009.