The report, presented in Madrid on 21 June, emphasises the need to incorporate R&D into Spain's cooperation programme to improve the implementation of maternal health interventions in the field.
"Despite the spectacular increase in official development aid allocated to health in the past decade, spending on maternal and reproductive health has come to a standstill", said Clara Menéndez, Director of ISGlobal's Maternal, Infant and Reproductive Health Initiative. "There are a number of factors that will play a key role in the continued reduction in maternal mortality, among them, greater political will, an effective financial commitment to implementing known solutions, and a clear research agenda to identify new and better solutions."
Anna Lucas, author of the report, highlighted the need for "a scientific focus to identify, monitor, and evaluate the most suitable interventions, which should then be expanded to strengthen health systems and accelerate progress. This focus should be one of the pillars of cooperation policies in the area of maternal and women's health."
Sexual and reproductive rights are a priority area of action in the Spanish cooperation programme, but there are no specific strategies for maternal health, or indeed mechanisms for R&D in the area of development. On the eve of the launch of the 2013-2016 National Plan for Spanish Cooperation, ISGlobal's report "More than half the world: R&D in maternal health as a tool for development cooperation" emphasises the need for research into maternal, infant and reproductive health to generate health-based evidence and drive the design and implementation of research products that will help to reduce mortality and morbidity in women, newborns and children in developing countries.
The report forms part of ISGlobal's Maternal, Infant and Reproductive health initiative.