Jhpiego wins United Nations Population Award for maternal health efforts

Jhpiego, a nonprofit global health affiliate of Johns Hopkins University, has been named a winner of the 2014 United Nations Population Award. The award, established in 1981 to recognize outstanding achievement in the fields of population and health, was given to Jhpiego for its four decades of tireless work in creating access to innovative, high-quality family planning and reproductive health services throughout the developing world.

The United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) presents this prestigious award to one institution and one individual each year in recognition of their outstanding contributions to addressing population issues and developing effective solutions. Past award winners include Bill and Melinda Gates and Indira Gandhi.

"Today is an incredibly proud moment in Jhpiego's history," said Leslie Mancuso, president and CEO of Jhpiego. "It is the culmination of 40 years of work on behalf of women and their families and secures Jhpiego's legacy as a world leader in the field of family planning and reproductive health. We know that healthy spacing of births is key to the health and welfare of a mother and her baby and that providing women with these options saves lives. We are honored to have been chosen for this prestigious award by UNFPA, an organization we deeply respect and admire."

The individual honor this year was given to Father Aldo Marchesini of Italy, a priest and medical doctor who has been involved with population issues for 43 years.

Jhpiego was founded in 1973 to share reproductive health breakthroughs with physicians, nurses, midwives, and health administrators from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Since then, Jhpiego has emerged as a leader in developing strategies and working with nations to help women gain access in substantial ways to family planning and reproductive health interventions. Currently, Jhpiego provides technical assistance in family planning to more than 23 countries.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will present Jhpiego with the award at a ceremony to take place on June 12, 2014.

Here's a video offering a closer look at Jhpiego.