MSD Announces New Global Grants to Improve Maternal Health Care in Eastern Europe

Today, MSD announced its latest round of Global Grants as part of its MSD for Mothers initiative, which is helping create a world where no woman has to die while giving life. MSD will support UNICEF through innovative projects designed to meet the unique local needs of women in Bulgaria and Serbia.

The World Health Organization estimates that 800 women around the world die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth every day, and there are a wide variety of social determinants of health that can impact maternal mortality rates. Poverty, race and ethnicity, education level, political instability, humanitarian crises and climate-related disasters are all frequent factors that prevent women from seeking or receiving adequate care.

“Sadly, disparities in access to maternal health services persist around the globe, with women from historically excluded groups facing disproportionately higher rates of maternal mortality,” said Mark Allen, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Global Programs, MSD for Mothers. “We are proud to recognize and expand our collaborations with an organization committed to delivering high-quality and equitable maternal health care for women who were previously underserved.”

MSD for Mothers has grown into an essential component of MSD’s commitment to reaching 50 million people with social investments by 2025. Since 2012, the MSD for Mothers Global Grants program has enabled MSD offices to support organizations that are improving maternal health around the world and have reached over 4.7 million women and trained more than 78,000 health care workers with targeted, region-specific approaches.

MSD for Mothers believes that local, community-led solutions are the pathway to progress in maternal health and the prevention of pregnancy- and childbirth-related suffering and death. The following newly selected grantees represent a continuation of the company’s commitment to breaking down silos and increasing stakeholder collaboration:

  • Bulgaria | UNICEF is expanding home visiting services in Bulgaria as well as strengthening health provider skills and implementing digital tools to support high-quality maternal health care, empowering women living in rural areas and from Roma ethnic minorities.
  • Serbia | UNICEF is improving the prevention and management of high-risk pregnancies in Roma populations across Serbia. This program is also focused on strengthening access to antenatal and postpartum care.

To learn more about the MSD for Mothers Global Grants program, including current and past grantees, please visit: