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The six papers of the Lancet Maternal Health Series cover the epidemiology of maternal health, the current landscape of maternal health care and services, and future challenges and strategies to improve maternal wellbeing.

The Series concludes with a five-point agenda for change: good quality care for every woman, every newborn, everywhere; equity through Universal Health Coverage; health system resilience, strength and responsiveness; sustainable financing for maternal and newborn health; and better evidence, advocacy, and accountability for progress.

To access the Series papers, visit

Funding for this Series was provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation through grants to the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

The Lancet Maternal Health Series study group was led by Professor Oona M R Campbell and Professor Wendy Graham, with Dr Fernando Althabe, Dr Marge Koblinsky, Dr Margaret E Kruk, Professor Suellen Miller, and Professor Dorothy Shaw.

The authors thank The Lancet Maternal Health Series executive steering group:

Fernando Althabe
Institute for Clinical Effectiveness and Health Policy

Dipa Nag Chowdhury
MacArthur Foundation, India

France Donnay
Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University

Lynn Freedman
Averting Maternal Death and Disability Program, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University

Stephen Hodgins
Save the Children

Marge Koblinsky

Jerker Liljestrand
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Lori McDougall
Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, World Health Organization

Sundari Ravindran T.K.
Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology


The Lancet editorial team:
Richard Horton and Audrey Ceschia

The Series photographic and video commission is the work of Pieter ten Hoopen, and all photographs on this website are credited Pieter ten Hoopen/London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The commission was conceived by Adrienne Testa, and developed by Adrienne Testa, Pieter ten Hoopen, Wendy Graham, and Justine Marshall.

We would like to thank the following individuals and organisations who helped to facilitate the photographic and video commission.

In Nigeria: Kole Shettima (MacArthur Foundation, Nigeria), Chinwe Onumonu (MacArthur Foundation, Nigeria, and Association for the Advancement of Family Planning in Nigeria), Aondoaseer Leonard Viashima (Marie Stopes International Organization Nigeria), and Lucky Palmer (Marie Stopes International Organization Nigeria).

In India: Dr Aparajita Gogoi (Centre for Catalyzing Change and White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood, India [WRAI]), Deepa Jha (Centre for Catalyzing Change), Sujoy Roy (CINI and White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood, India [WRAI]), the Health and Family Welfare Department, Government of West Bengal, and AMRI hospital, Kolkata.

In Sweden: Dr Claudia Hanson (Karolinska Institutet)

We would especially like to thank all the women and healthcare providers in Nigeria, India and Sweden who participated in the commission and shared their experiences.