The story behind the photo: Argentina

“Giving birth”

The labor had started many hours ago and Mariela was exhausted. Marcelo, her husband, supported and kept her company during this passage of giving life. During 2003 and 2004, I went weekly to Hospital Misericordia in the city of Córdoba, Argentina, to photograph labors and births under the charge of Dr. Celsa Bruenner. At that time, it was the only public hospital where you were able to give birth in a respected way. This “respected birth” implies recovering the active role of women at the time of birth; the subjectivity and the freedom of women and their partners to choose how they give birth and how to be born.

Photographer: Tali Elbert, Argentina

Trinidad and Tobago hosts talk on gender and MDG 5

Trinidad and Tobago hosts talk on gender and MDG 5

“Why do mothers die?” on Prezi

Visit the Safe Motherhood Initiative Prezi presentation on why mothers die, available here:

Maternal-Child Health in Bolivia: Analysis of the Health System’s Response


Salud Materno-Infantil en Bolivia: Analisis de la Respuesta del Sistema de Salud

PAHO/WHO Honors Efforts to Advance Women’s Health Equality in Latin America

Four Latin American initiatives that promote gender equality in health were honored as “best practices” by the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) at a special event marking International Women’s Day on March 9.

The four projects—from Bolivia, Colombia, Peru and Uruguay—were the finalists in the fifth annual “Best Practices that Incorporate the Perspective of Gender Equality in Health” contest, organized by PAHO/WHO, the Organization of American States (OAS), and the Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF).

Celebrate International Women’s Day with PAHO!


Join us March 9, 2012, in Room A of PAHO headquarters, from 10:30-12:30. The theme of this year´s celebration is ¨Gender Equality –> Healthy Women, Healthy Children!”

Jamaica awards best photos in national Safe Motherhood contest

  • First place: “Safe Mother – Mother Breastfeeding Baby” Submitted by Lisa Thompson
  • Second place: “The Joy of Receiving My Bundle of Joy” Submitted by Jing Jun Zhang
  • Third place: “Kymari’s Christening – Giving Thanks to God for his Birth” Submitted by Kenesha Brown

Jamaica awards best practices in Safe Motherhood

In October 2011, the revitalization of the Safe Motherhood Initiative in Jamaica, “Working to fulfil the Promise”, was launched by the Ministry of Health. The event and the related activities, including the national photo competition and the national best practices competition, reflect a collaborative partnership between the Jamaica Ministry of Health, the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and UNICEF. On 30 January 2012, the Ministry of Health announced the winners of the National Safe Motherhood Best Photo and Best Practices Competitions in Jamaica. PAHO/WHO was especially pleased to provide the winners with their prizes. Those attending the awards ceremony included Dr. Eva Lewis-Fuller, Chief Medical Officer of the Jamaica Ministry of Health; Dr. Karen Lewis-Bell, Director of Family Health in the Jamaica Ministry of Health; Ms. Margareta Skὄld, Country Representative of PAHO/WHO in Jamaica; Mrs. Naedene Tufton, Safe Motherhood Patron in Jamaica; Ms. Melissa McNeil-Barrett, Assistant Representative of the UNFPA in Jamaica; and award winners.

  • First place: National program addressing the problem of interrupted education and the accompanying social problems that occur when an adolescent girl drops out of school because of pregnancy. Submitted by the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation.
  • Second place: Improvement in maternal morbidity through the introduction of a consultation-liaison community linked mental health program. Submitted by the Victoria Jubilee Hospital, Jamaica. 

Bolivia awards prizes in national SMI contests

On November 22, the winners of the national Safe Motherhood best practices contest and photography contest were awarded by the PAHO/WHO representative, as well as officials from the Ministry of Health and UNFPA.

Trinidad and Tobago holds Safe Motherhood Symposium

On October 23, 2011, Trinidad and Tobago held a Safe Motherhood Symposium with the help of ASPIRE, PAHO, and UNFPA.