For women living in many developing countries, having a child can be dangerous. Lack of financing, poor infrastructure, and broken supply chains mean that women are often unable to get basic supplies that ensure a healthy pregnancy and safe delivery—despite widespread agreement on how to treat maternal killers like postpartum hemorrhage, eclampsia, and infection.

Population Action International partnered with Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) and the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) to explore how policies, funding, and other health system challenges affect the availability of maternal health supplies in Uganda and Bangladesh –  two countries with some of the highest numbers of maternal deaths. The report tracks four maternal health supplies – oxytocin, misoprostol, magnesium sulfate and manual vacuum aspirators (MVAs) – that address three of the most common direct causes of maternal mortality in Asia and Africa.

This research is intended to provide an evidence base for future advocacy to ensure access to reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health.