Despite substantial progress has been made, MDG4 (Reducing child mortality) and MDG5 (Reducing maternal motality and achieving universal access to reproductive health) have not been not be achieved and maternal and neonatal health remain a global health priority in the post-2015 framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The health-related MDGs have been replaced by one overarching health goal SDG3: Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages. This new goal contains Target 3.1. By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births, Target 3.2 -end preventable deaths of children under 5 by 2030,Target 3.3 which aims to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030, and Target 3.8 - achieve universal health coverage, access to quality health care services, and access to safe, effective, quality, and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all. Efforts to accelerate progress need to continue. Stronger leadership and political support in the settings that are most lagging behind are prerequisites for successful completion of those ambitious global targets.
We believe it is important that a wide range of research and academia stakeholders unite behind the ambitious but achievable goal of accelerating the reduction of maternal and neonatal mortality. Building on a previous academic collaboration, three institutions with recognised expertise and dedication to improving maternal and neonatal health, the Maternal Health Task Force at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH), Aga Khan University (AKU), and the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), have joined forces around a new academic alliance to launch the Safe Mothers and Newborns. Accelerating the Reduction of Maternal and Neonatal Mortality: A Leadership Workshop.