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    Getting the message across: new WHO video: Opening the Gates to Life.


    The World Health Organization (WHO) has produced a video to help launch its Mother-Baby Package entitled "Opening the Gates to Life." It shows how national programs can use the package to improve maternal survival. It aims to stimulate discussion and motivate health workers at all levels to develop concrete strategies and activities to reduce maternal mortality. Policy makers and planners will also benefit from the video. Another WHO video, "Why Did Mrs. X. Die?", depicted the road to maternal death and the obstacles she faced in her lifetime. The most recent video focuses on the road to life. The key concepts of this most recent video are opening the gates to life, motivating gatekeepers (policy makers, planners, health professionals, health workers, and community and family members), strengthening the links in the chain of care, and reaching out to women and communities. They are also incorporated in other communication materials of the package. Ways to open the gates to life are: reduce delay (household delay in deciding to seek care, delay in reaching care because of difficulties with transportation and the referral system, and delay in receiving care after arriving at a health facility), reduce the distance between women and life-saving obstetrics care, remove barriers (e.g., disrespectful treatment by health workers and cost), listen to the needs and perceptions of women, and penetrate the culture of silence. In the culture of silence maternal deaths are often not discussed or reported because they are considered a sensitive, private issue.
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