The Lancet and IHME co-hosted the symposium “Measuring the progress on maternal and child mortality: data, alternative methods, and findings,” bringing together key maternal and child health experts from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Bank, and other organizations to discuss the most recent studies on maternal and child mortality. The symposium was part of an all-day event, which included a Kaiser Family Foundation-hosted forum on the policy implications for the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals for reducing child and maternal deaths by 2015. The day kicked off what was to be a summer of conferences focused on maternal and child health.

About the symposium

The all-day event initiated vigorous scientific dialogue around the data and analytic approaches used in determining maternal and child mortality rates around the world. The symposium also highlighted the critical role that multiple organizations play in analyzing and disseminating mortality findings in order to strengthen overall methods and results.

The symposium, moderated by The Lancet Editor-in-Chief Richard Horton, featured two panels, one focused on maternal mortality and the other on child mortality.

Explore presentations from the day’s events

Welcome and introduction: Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief, The Lancet and symposium chair

Measuring child mortality panel

Chair – Mickey Chopra, Chief of Health, UNICEF 

  • Tessa Wardlaw, Chief of Statistics and Monitoring, UNICEF  
  • Ed Bos, Lead Population Specialist, World Bank  
  • Trevor Croft, Principal Demographic Expert, ICF Macro 
  • Kenji Shibuya, Professor and Chair, Department of Global Health Policy, University of Tokyo
  • Alan Lopez, Head of the School of Population Health and Professor of Medical Statistics and Population Health, University of Queensland 

Measuring maternal mortality panel

Chair - Jennifer Kates, Vice President and Director, Global Health Policy & HIV, Kaiser Family Foundation 

  • Diego Bassani, Epidemiologist, Centre for Global Health Research, St. Michael's Hospital, University of Toronto
  • Amanda Glassman, Principal Technical Lead for Health, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
  • Rafael Lozano, Professor of Global Health, IHME, University of Washington and former General Director of Health Information at the Ministry of Health in Mexico (ppt)
  • Christopher J.L .Murray, Director and Professor of Global Health, IHME, University of Washington 

Closing Remarks: Moderator - Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief, The Lancet

Policy Forum

World progress in maternal and child health and the future role for the US

Prior to the symposium, the Kaiser Family Foundation hosted a policy forum in the same venue, which included a panel discussion with experts from the US Department of State, EngenderHealth, Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, World Health Organization (WHO), and other organizations on the policy implications of new maternal and child mortality trends and how the US can best work with other nations to achieve Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5.

Speakers included

Flavia Bustreo, Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, WHO; Jen Kates, Global Health Policy and HIV, Kaiser Family Foundation; Jennifer Klein, Global Women’s Issues, US Department of State; Ana Langer, EngenderHealth; and Christopher J.L. Murray, IHME, University of Washington.

Read more about this event or watch the webcast at the Kaiser Family Foundation website.