Merck launches safer childbirth initiative to curb maternal deaths

Megan Knowles -

To curb maternal deaths and life-threatening childbirths, pharmaceutical company Merck has launched the "Safer Childbirth Cities" initiative, which supports U.S. cities in their efforts to help women have healthy pregnancies and safe childbirths.

The initiative is part of Merck for Mothers, Merck's effort to end preventable deaths of women from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. Merck for Mothers is committing an additional $10 million to improve maternal health nationwide.

Through the initiative, Merck for Mothers will give grants to help cities with poor maternal health outcomes develop and implement solutions to stop patient deaths and improve maternal health.

"These deaths represent many failures — not just unsafe medical care, but also inadequate social support in our communities," said Neel Shah, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive biology at Harvard Medical School in Boston. "The 'Safer Childbirth Cities' initiative will help break down silos between sectors to save women's lives."

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