Merck Expands Access to High-Quality Maternal Care for More Than 30 Million Women Worldwide Through Merck for Mothers

Surpasses its goal of reaching 25 million women by 2025
May 8, 2024 9:00 AM ET

RAHWAY, N.J., May 8, 2024 /3BL/ - Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, announced today that Merck for Mothers, the company’s global maternal health initiative, has reached more than 30 million women through programs promoting safe, high-quality, respectful care, surpassing its goal of reaching 25 million women by 2025. 

Merck for Mothers supports the company’s work in expanding access to health and accelerating progress toward the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG 3), which aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all. More specifically, the initiative is focused on creating a world where no woman has to die while giving life by helping to address the first target under SDG 3, reducing the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030. 

“I am so proud of our company’s long-standing commitment to our Merck for Mothers initiative, which is dedicated to improving maternal health outcomes around the world,” said Allison Goldberg, president, Merck Foundation. “Through Merck for Mothers, we have now helped more than 30 million women access high-quality, life-saving care around pregnancy and childbirth – surpassing our goal of reaching 25 million women by 2025. This milestone serves as a reminder that much work is left to be done, and we remain committed to helping create a world where no woman has to die while giving life.” 

Through wide-ranging approaches, Merck for Mothers harnesses the power of public-private collaboration to strengthen health systems and mobilize solutions to address the diverse and unique needs of moms, babies and families worldwide. The initiative’s milestone of 30 million women reached reflects the combined total impact of the programs and partnerships it supports in more than 70 countries, including:

  • India, where Merck for Mothers collaborated with the Federation of Obstetric and Gynecological Societies of India (FOGSI) and a consortium of stakeholders across the country to launch Manyata, a quality improvement and certification initiative specifically designed for private maternity providers. This initiative has supported quality improvements in 25 states and Union Territories across India and trained more than 23,000 providers in 2,800 maternity hospitals, delivering quality care to more than 1 million women.
  • Brazil, where Merck for Mothers worked with the Sociedade Beneficente Israelita Brasileira Albert Einstein, a leading hospital network, and the Ministry of Health, to implement a new curriculum to train health providers on maternity care protocols. This effort trained 250 health providers and resulted in a 54% decline in the maternal mortality rate in two years in the Pernambuco State.
  • Kenya, where, in response to a high unmet need for post-pregnancy family planning (PPFP), Merck for Mothers partnered with Jhpiego, a nonprofit organization affiliated with Johns Hopkins University, to fund a research study – PPFP Choices – facilitating greater access to evidence-based PPFP services throughout Kenya. PPFP Choices led to a 24% increase in PPFP uptake at participating sites.
  • Nigeria the country with the most maternal deaths worldwide – where with Pathfinder Nigeria, PharmAccess Foundation and the Kaduna State Ministry of Health, Merck for Mothers created the Saving Mothers, Giving Life project (SMGL 2.0). This project improved the quality of maternal health care in 25 private health facilities and led to a decrease in maternal and perinatal deaths by 60% and 16%, respectively.
  • United States – the only high-income country in which maternal mortality is on the rise – where Merck for Mothers supports a variety of programs to address racial inequities in maternal health outcomes. For example, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Foundation, Merck for Mothers created the Hear Her campaign to disseminate critical information on pregnancy and childbirth-related complications, reaching more than 1.5 million people to date across the campaign’s website and social media channels.

To learn more about Merck for Mothers and stay informed on how the initiative is continuing to expand access to high-quality maternal care, please visit

About Merck 
At Merck, known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, we are unified around our purpose: We use the power of leading-edge science to save and improve lives around the world. For more than 130 years, we have brought hope to humanity through the development of important medicines and vaccines. We aspire to be the premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company in the world – and today, we are at the forefront of research to deliver innovative health solutions that advance the prevention and treatment of diseases in people and animals. We foster a diverse and inclusive global workforce and operate responsibly every day to enable a safe, sustainable and healthy future for all people and communities. For more information, visit and connect with us on 
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About Merck for Mothers 
Merck for Mothers is Merck’s $650 million global initiative to help create a world where no woman has to die while giving life. Applying Merck’s business and scientific resources, the initiative collaborates with partners to improve the health and well-being of women during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. For more information, visit

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