MEDIA ADVISORY: Global Launch of the WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist


CONTACT: Deborah O’Neil,, 305-215-5675

WHAT: Global Launch of the WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist

More than 300,000 women and 2.7 million infants die in childbirth every year around the world. The new Safe Childbirth Checklist & Implementation Guide developed by the World Health Organization in partnership with Ariadne Labs aims to reduce maternal and neonatal deaths by encouraging the use of essential lifesaving childbirth practices. Read the press release.

WHO: Katherine Semrau, Ph.D.

Associate Epidemiologist, Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School

Director of the BetterBirth Program at Ariadne Labs, a joint center of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Dr. Semrau leads Ariadne Labs BetterBirth Program, the largest randomized clinical trial testing the WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist in more than 100,000 live births. She has been integrally involved in the development, design, testing and implementation of the Safe Childbirth Checklist in the field, working with health administrators, physicians and birth attendants in health care facilities in Uttar Pradesh, India and Gobabis, Namibia. An expert on maternal and neonatal health in low-resource settings, Dr. Semrau can address the following topics related to the checklist:

  • Issues around maternal and newborn health in low- and middle-income countries
  • Why a checklist can help address the problems that lead to maternal and neonatal deaths and complications
  • How the Safe Childbirth Checklist has been implemented in India
  • The importance of adapting the checklist to the local setting
  • Strategies for effective uptake of the checklist
  • Challenges and barriers to implementation and use of the checklist