The Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) and the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) co-hosted a ground-breaking global conference in New Delhi, India on August 30th to September 1st. The Global Maternal Health Conference (GMHC2010) brought together nearly 700 maternal health experts and members of allied fields to share lessons learned, discuss neglected issues, and contemplate innovations to improve global challenges in maternal health.
From September 30 to October 15, the maternal health community was asked to provide their input on GMHC2010, regardless of whether they attended in person, online, or not at all. Over 200 people responded; thank you to everyone who participated. We appreciate the feedback. And to prove we’re listening, here’s a summary of the responses:
Respondents who attended the conference in person were asked to rate the following items on a scale of 1(low) to 5 (high); below is the rating average for each:
Overall usefulness of the conference
Overall organization of the conference
Abstract submission process
Abstract evaluation process
Abstract notification process
Food at the conference
Duration of the conference
Staffing/assistance at the conference
Printed conference program
Value of plenaries
Value of parallel sessions
Organization of program (3 plenaries, parallel sessions, panels)
Travel scholarship process
Likelihood of attending another GMH conference
Themes and Topics
When asked to rank the 6 conference themes according to the usefulness to their work, respondents ranked them from most to least useful: 1) Ideas and Interventions to Improve Maternal Health; 2) Strengthening Systems for Maternal Health; 3) Measuring and Monitoring Maternal Health; 4) Underlying Factors in Maternal Mortality and Morbidity; 5) Policy, Advocacy, and Communications; and 6) Reproductive and Sexual Health.
Although approximately 80% of respondents said no themes or topics were missing, those who answered had some great ideas, such as: mental health, maternal morbidity, accountability, human rights, underlying causes, and neonatal health.
"I did not hear much on mental health as mental health plays as important of a role as physical health."
"Better understanding about mild, moderate and severe maternal morbidities (during prenatal, intranatal and postpartum period) and how to satisfactorily manage them at different facility levels"
"Strengthening rights based initiatives in maternal health"
"There was some sessions on neonatal health, but very short."
Eighty-six percent of respondents told us they learned something new from GMHC2010. Some of the top topics included: the Young Champions of Maternal Health, the Ask Your Government campaign, technical advances, and transportation and referral. For more information about the Young Champions and the progress they are making, make sure you visit their page and read their blogs. Get involved in the Ask Your Government campaign with the International Budget Partnership and nine other organizations by visiting their website. If you want to learn more about the technical advances being used in the field, check out the mHealth Summit and one of the events from the Maternal Health Policy Dialogue Series, New Applications for Existing Technologies to Improve Maternal Health. Watch the video and download the PowerPoint presentations from another event from the Maternal Health Policy Dialogue Series, Improving Transportation and Referral for Maternal Health, to learn more about the knowledge gaps and recommendations. All the sessions from the GMHC2010 were videotaped and archived on the conference website; make sure you watch them to learn more about the work your colleagues are doing around the world. We hope the learning did not stop after the conference was over.
And while we are grateful that a majority of the respondents had good things to say about the conference and would attend another one, we would like to acknowledge the bumps we met along the way. Organizing a global conference is challenging; a number of people described some frustration with the online registration, conference logistics, visas, and the venue for the poster sessions. We will take these comments into consideration if/when we organize another conference.
Thank you again to everyone who participated in the GMHC2010 and the conference survey!
Click the charts and graphs below to enlarge them.
83% of respondents would attend another Global Maternal Health Conference
86% learned something new at GMHC2010
Approximately 80% said no themes or topics were missing
All the sessions, panels, and plenaries were videotaped. You can watch them on the conference website.