September 22, 2011

Merck Program for Safer Childbirth to Pay for Technology and Advocacy

Merck, the pharmaceutical company, has provided some details about its commitment, announced earlier this week, of $500-million over the next decade to reduce the number of women who die in childbirth.

Some of that money will be in the form of cash grants to charities, Geralyn Ritter, president of the Merck Company Foundation, tells The Chronicle. The company will also pay to develop new technology—for example, a system to store a drug that helps prevent women from bleeding to death after childbirth.

Merck will also help spread existing technologies, train health-care workers, and support advocacy work, says Ms. Ritter.

The effort will be global, she says, but will focus on countries with the highest number of women dying in childbirth.

Nonprofits may be able to apply for money as early as next year, she says.