MISSION: The Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) contributes to shaping collective efforts to improve maternal health worldwide, serving as a catalyst to address one of the most neglected areas in global health and development.
After its 2008 launch at EngenderHealth, in 2011 the Maternal Health Task Force became the flagship project of the Women & Health Initiative at the Harvard School of Public Health. Ongoing support for the MHTF comes from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
The activities of the MHTF are based upon the information and evidence gathered during the project’s first three years. There is an urgent need for better understanding of the factors that limit services and providers’ capacity to offer quality maternal health care. In order to sustain and accelerate progress, a new generation of maternal health experts must be cultivated and fostered. Finally, routine knowledge exchanges are essential to building on the cohesion brought to the field during the MHTF’s first phase.
The MHTF now focuses on three activities:
- conducting implementation research on the quality of maternal health care and its measurement
- expanding educational opportunities for mid-level maternal health professionals in high-burden countries, public health students, and a new class of Young Champions of Maternal Health
- convening scientific and technical conferences and meetings for maternal health professionals and their colleagues from allied fields
Currently, the MHTF is working in five countries: Ethiopia, India, Mexico, Nigeria, and Tanzania.