Support for reproductive health legislation, popularly known as the RH Bill here, has snowballed on social websites and among peer networks, yet passage and funding of the bill remain uncertain. Catholic bishops have long used the threat of excommunication in the raging debates over use of modern contraceptive methods - such as pills, IUDs and condoms - in the Southeast-Asian nation of over 92 million, 85 percent of whom are Catholic.
This past September, world leaders meeting at the United Nations vowed to spend $40 billion over the next five years to save the lives of more than 16 million women and children dying of deadly diseases or lack of medical care, particularly during and after pregnancy.
Pumwani Maternity Hospital, in the impoverished Nairobi neighbourhood of Eastlands, is the site of a trial project using mobile phones to help HIV-positive mothers avoid passing the virus on to their children.
Costa Rica is one of the few countries in the world where in vitro fertilisation (IVF) is illegal. And the Vatican wants it to stay that way: Pope Benedict XVI himself recently urged the government not to pass a law that would make it legal.
For the last 17 years, Keshari Maharjan has been going door to door in the outskirts of the Nepali capital to tell people about the services available at health centres in their communities, as well as about how to prevent certain diseases.
Nigist Abebe has grown in confidence over five years on the job. Today she is one of 34,000 rural health extension workers at the heart of Ethiopia's primary health care strategy.
Senegal's efforts to improve maternal health and reduce child mortality are hampered by a lack of health centres and poor care in those that do exist. But the government faces a major financial hurdle in financing the Bajenu Gox initiative - a community health programme intended to address this.
The Gaspard Kamara maternity centre in Dakar was not especially full on Nov. 25, but the medical staff seemed overwhelmed. Midwives, nurses and gynecologists rushed in all directions dealing with women in difficult labour.
Despite successive awareness campaigns, many Malian women see no need to attend pre-natal check-ups. Health workers say this results in an elevated rate of maternal and infant mortality.
Cecilia Tomoka's birthing centre stood unused for three years before the 2009 earthquake flattened it. Now she's rebuilding the house - and her practice - as Malawi's government lifts a ban on traditional birth attendants.
The resurgence in religious fundamentalism and the inordinate influence of certain church leaders over public health policy present major obstacles to the prevention of needless deaths and injuries of women from unsafe abortion on the African continent.
Elizabeth Kaboré says she has paid for each of her visits to the clinic, despite a government promise that prenatal check-ups in health centres would be free.
In the spacious lobby of the Nuestra Señora de Altagracia maternity hospital, more than a hundred people wait quietly in chairs, overlooked by a 20-foot-high coloured mosaic inset portraying the patron saint of the Dominican Republic.
The U.S.-led invasion and then occupation of Iraq brought a sharp setback to the rights of women in that country, UNFPA head Thoraya Obaid tells IPS in an interview.
Marie Musa, 37, is devastated. After the mother of four gave premature birth, her baby boy died a few hours later – because the hospital did not have enough incubators to rescue the infant.
Poor, rural, Quechua-speaking women in the Peruvian province of Anta who were victims of a forced sterilisation programme between 1996 and 2000 have filed a new lawsuit in their continuing struggle for justice.
With the number of hungry people growing to more than a billion last year, the world is "nowhere near" reaching the objectives outlined in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), according to the latest Global Hunger Index (GHI) released Monday.
Mother-to-be Agnes Ncube budgets up to 100 dollars each month from her informal roadside business just so she can pay for the maternal services at her local government clinic.
The 11.7 billion dollars pledged Tuesday to replenish the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria for the coming three years falls significantly short of the 20 billion dollars hoped for, threatening to undo the progress made in the fight against these diseases - the three largest infectious killers in the world.
Global health advocates are strongly urging the Barack Obama administration to remain financially supportive of the fight against HIV/AIDS, amidst fears that economic prudence from the U.S. will reverse encouraging gains.
Two years spent training traditional birth attendants in remote rural areas has allowed Rwanda to reduce the country's maternal mortality rate, says the country's health department.