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The Mobile Obstetric Maternal Health Workers Project

Just released: Final Results

The Mobile Obstetric Maternal Health Workers (MOM) Project employs a unique approach to addressing the dire neonatal and maternal health situation among internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in eastern Burma. Our partners—the Global Health Access Program, the Mae Tao Clinic, the Back Pack Health Worker Team and Mobile Clinic ethnic groups—have been able to establish a network of 12 mobile health centers inside Burma that serve as capacity building sites for 33 maternal health workers, 147 health workers, 350 traditional birth attendants and other community participants.

Although the long-term objective of the project is to reduce maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality among IDPs within eastern Burma, the primary aim is to increase access to proven antenatal interventions and to basic emergency obstetric care. The centers provide proven and appropriate antenatal, peripartum and postpartum newborn and maternal health interventions, and are sites for standardized collection of program indicators, as well as referral centers for specialized emergency obstetrical care.

The need to quantify the associations between human rights violations and health outcomes is increasingly obvious and this project gives evidence to the feasibility of obtaining data to understand such associations.  By illustrating the intricate and undeniable influence that human rights violations play on the health of marginalized populations, policies can be created or changed and programs can be implemented.  To this end, Drs. Luke Mullany and Chris Beyrer have been presenting the lessons learned from this project to local and international organizations with the hopes of bringing about future action for research, advocacy, and program implementation in the context of human rights violations.

Supported by: The Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

More information:


The Health of Mothers in Eastern Burma Improved by Mobile Obstetrics Project Medical News Today

Women's Access to Health Care Increased: Researchers The Irrawaddy

Borderline Health Johns Hopkins Magazine presents an in-depth look at the dedication of the MOM Project team


Public Health and Human Rights: Challenges, Synergies, and Methodologies Dr. Mullany and Dr. Beyrer's 2009 presentation to the CDC

Publications and Reports:

Mullany LC, Lee TJ, Yone L, Lee CI, Teela KC, et al. Impact of Community-Based Maternal Health Workers on Coverage of Essential Maternal Health Interventions among Internally Displaced Communities in Eastern Burma: The MOM Project. PLoS Med; 2010, 7(8).

Teela KC, Mullany LC, Lee CI, Poh E, Paw P, Masenior N, Maung C, Beyrer C, Lee TJ. Community-based delivery of  maternal care in conflict-affected areas of eastern Burma: Perspectives from lay maternal health workers. Soc Sci & Med 2009: 1–9.

Mullany LC, Lee CI, Yone L, Paw P, 0o EKS, Maung C, Lee TJ, Beyrer, C. Access to essential maternal health interventions and human rights violations among vulnerable communities in eastern Burma.  PLoS Med 2008 Dec: 5(12): e242.

Mullany LC, Lee CI, Paw P, Shwe Oo EK, Maung C, Kuiper HK, Masenior N, Beyrer C, Lee TJ. The MOM Project: Delivering maternal health services among internally displaced populations in Eastern Burma. Reproductive Health Matters 2008 May 16; 16(31):44-56.

Mullany L, Richards A, Lee C, Suwanvanichkij V, Maung C, Mahn M, Beyrer C, Lee TJ.  Population-Based Survey Methods to Quantify Associations between Human Rights Violations and Health Outcomes Among Internally Displaced Persons in Eastern Burma. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 2007 Oct;61(10):908-14.

Training Manuals:

In the News...

Just Released: Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition’s 3rd annual report: No Protection, No Respect. The report details attacks on health care facilities, infrastructure, workers, and patients during 2015 and the first quarter of 2016.
Congratulations! Director Chris Beyrer to be installed as first Desmond M Tutu Professor of Public Health and  Human Rights.
News: African academinc challenge homophibic laws. Read here.
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New Publication: Sexual violence against female sex workers in the Gambia
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Join Us: March 31 4-5:30pm in Sheldon Hall for 'Health Transitions in Myanmar: 2015'
New Report: Syrian Medical Voices from the Ground: The Ordeal of Syria’s Healthcare Professionals.
Free: Editors of The Lancet have identified important articles from their respective journals to highlight World AIDS Day. They're freely available Dec. 1-31, including the Series on HIV and Sex Work.
Hot News! CPHHR Director Chris Beyrer has been appointed to the UNAIDS Scientific Experts Panel and is a newly elected member of the Institute of Medicine.
Just Released! The Lancet Series on HIV and Sex Work was recently released at AIDS 2014 in Melbourne. Congratulations to the team on an incredible Series!
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Article: Sex Work Criminilization and HIV - Facing Reality
AIDS 2014: The 20th International AIDS Conference is fast approaching! The newly released destination guide is a great resource for LGBT attendees.
Just released! On the frontline of eastern Burma’s chronic conflict - Listening to the voices of local health workers in Social Science and Medicine. Full article.
New Report: The full report from the conference on the protection of health workers, patients and facilities in times of violence is now available.
Post-Doc Position: The CPHHR is looking for a post-doctoral research fellow to conduct analysis of quantitative data from studies with MSM in several settings. Details and application instructions.
Call to Action: Len Rubenstein recently convened a group of experts to address the issue of protection of health workers, patients and facilities in times of conflict. The Call to Action is available here.
Tribute: Please visit the IAS website for a tribute to Nelson Mandela, as well as links to his AIDS conference speeches.
New Reports: OSF profiles 11 access to justice projects in their new report Bringing Justice to Health. Read.
Just out: The Task Force on Preserving Medical Professionalism has found that since 9/11/2001, the DoD and CIA have involved U.S. military and intelligence agency health staff in activities that inflicted severe harm on detainees in U.S. custody. Read.
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Just Released: 'A Human Rights Approach to Heath and Conflict' by Center faculty Katherine Footer and Len Rubenstein. Read.
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Just Released: Turning surveillance into support for MSM in Africa. Read.
HOT NEWS! The US Supreme Court ruled that Groups receiving federal money to combat AIDS abroad may not be required to adopt policies opposing prostitution. Read the full article here.
New Report: A new project lead by Dr. Stef Baral highlights HIV risk among MSM in Malawi and the discusses the need for data. Read.

New! Center faculty have published a new article"Modified social ecological model: a tool to guide the assessment of the risks and risk contexts of HIV epidemics" available here.

Read! Center faculty have published a new article 'Modeling the impact of HIV prevention and treatment for MSM on HIV trajectories in LMICs. Read.
Exclusive: The AMA has written to Secretary of Defense Hagel concerning allegations that detainees on hunger strike are being force-fed with assistance from physicians. Click here to view the letter.
Just out! Center faculty member Len Rubenstein published an article in Foreign Affairs describing issues of compromised medical care in conflict zones.
Hot News! The Huffington Post released an article on a recently published study on HIV among transgendered women, led by Center Faculty member Stefan Baral. Read.
New! The NYTimes published a letter comcerning a recent piece on attacks on Syrian doctors, written by Center faculty member Len Rubenstein. Read.
Update: HIV among MSM examined at CROI 2013. Read.
New! Click here for video of the CROI 2013 Plenary 'The Global HIV MSM Epidemic: Time to Act', by Center Director Chris Beyrer.
Hot Topic: The Center recently hosted the film "Beneath the Blindfold", which reveals the reality of life after torture. This informative documentary follows the lives of four torture survivors as they build new lives, careers and relationships. Please visit the website for more information.
Just Released! The eBriefing for the NYAS/CPHHR event 'New Paradigms of Risk and Protection: Understanding the HIV Epidemics among Gay and Bisexual Men' is now available on the NYAS website. Congratulations to everyone who worked together and made this event a tremendous success!
Congratulations! Gift Trapence attended the LGBT Human Rights Defenders event at the UN in NYC with Secretary General Ban Kyi-Moon, Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Ricky Martin as a leader in the fight against homophobia. Congratulations on this incredible honor!
Just Released: 'Free and Equal', a booklet published by the UN human rights office describes sexual orientation and gender identity in international human rights law. Read.
New Report: 'Impact of Maternal Depressive Symptoms on Growth of Preschool- and School-Aged Children', just published in Pediatrics, found that Maternal depressive symptoms during infancy may affect physical growth in early childhood. Congratulations to the Center's Pam Surkan and team on this interesting article. Read. Article.
Hot News! Burma's Daw Aung San Suu Kyi spoke via video to the International HIV/AIDS Conference in Washington D.C. on Thursday about ending the stigma experienced by many HIV/AIDS patients. Read. 
New Video! Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi accepts Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway. Watch Video.

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