Dr. Ana Pilar Betran, Medical Officer, WHO, delivered a guest lecture entitled “Global Priorities for Maternal Health: With Reference to Emerging Economies and Low Middle Income Countries”. It was organized by the School of Medical Sciences, University of Hyderabad on 5th September 2022 at the Sir C.V.Raman Auditorium, Science Complex.

The Vice Chancellor Prof. B.J. Rao presided over the lecture and Prof. Geeta K. Vemuganti Dean School of Medical Sciences extended the welcome to the gathering.

Dr.Ana Pilar Betran is a medical doctor and a biochemist with a PhD in public health. In 2000, she joined the World Health Organization as a Medical Officer. She works as a scientist and researcher in maternal and perinatal health and coordinates large international collaborative research, evidence synthesis and guideline development to improve global maternal and perinatal health with focus on low- and middle-income countries.  Her immense contribution has been to the portfolio of WHO guidelines to optimizing the use of caesarean section worldwide and promotes assessment and evaluation of caesarean section rates and outcomes in a reliable and action-oriented manner including quality guidelines and tools for adaptation across the globe.

In her presentation with particular relevance to the emerging and low income economies, she presented the reasons for poor maternal health as well as major reasons for maternal death. She provided key messages that included the need to do a lot globally especially in LMIC on maternal and perinatal death, identifying interventions that are already known and implementing them to improve maternal health, being woman centric as well making a pitch to hear the “voices of women” when planning and implementing interventions especially on quality and satisfaction with care.

The Vice Chancellor in his remarks also made a strong pitch to include non-communicable disease related issues that can have a significant bearing on maternal and perinatal health especially in rapidly transitioning economies like India. She agreed that it was very important for policy prescriptions that have double or triple burden of disease.