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JSI's Dr. Nabeela Ali spoke at the Wilson Center on improving maternal health in Pakistan

May 31, 2012

JSI’s Pakistan Country Director Dr. Nabeela Ali spoke at the Wilson Center recently about some of the health challenges facing women in Pakistan. Pakistan is the world's sixth-most populous country, yet has long held one of the world's highest maternal mortality rates.

"Maternal mortality is a very complex thing—it's not just patient-doctor relationships, it has so much to do with behaviors, communities, the household, and family members," says Dr. Ali.

As chief of party for the Pakistan Initiative for Mothers and Newborns, which received USAID maternal and child health funding from 2004 to 2010, Dr. Ali engaged religious leaders to change norms for women’s health. The approach has since been listed by the Pakistan government as one of nine best practices to improve women’s health.

In this interview with the Wilson Center’s Environmental Change & Security Program, Dr. Ali stressed that despite Pakistan's very religious society, these interventions are possible with the right messaging.

Watch the video from the Wilson Center.