Improving maternal environments to boost health everywhere

Researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health are part of a new collaborative effort aimed at improving maternal health around the world by reducing toxic environments such as air pollution, stress, under-employment, lack of support and services, racism, and gender- and class-based discrimination. The ultimate goal of the effort is to improve human life and health on a broad scale.

A white paper on the effort was issued September 12, 2019 by the Humanity 2.0 Lab, an alliance of academic, business, and faith leaders aimed at supporting human development. Contributors to the white paper included two researchers from Harvard Chan School—Ana Langer, director of the Women and Health Initiative, and Jigyasa Sharma, a doctoral student in the Department of Global Health and Population. Other contributors included Delos, a wellness real estate and technology company; Square Roots, an organization aimed at improving maternal health with innovative approaches; Commonsense Childbirth, a nonprofit that supports healthy pregnancies and the elimination of racial disparities in maternal and infant health; and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

A press release from Delos noted that hundreds of women are still dying every day in pregnancy and childbirth, and two-thirds of those deaths are preventable.

Langer said in the release, “Clinical and public health research and practice are currently very specialized, so Humanity 2.0 Lab’s holistic approach is important. We want to break silos and look at women’s health throughout the life course and across generations, because people’s health at every stage of their life will influence how healthy they are now and in the future.”

Read the Delos release: Humanity 2.0 Lab Publishes Innovative White Paper On Improving Maternal Health Worldwide