The Lancet Maternal Health Series: Global Research & Evidence


Every woman, every newborn, everywhere has the right to good quality care. This is the guiding message of The Lancet Maternal Health Series, which synthesises the last decade of evidence on maternal health worldwide and champions vital action on the path to 2030.



This free online course offered by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine explores the state of maternal health globally, based on The Lancet Maternal Health Series.

Overview LANCET Maternal

The course

With 210 million women becoming pregnant and the delivery of 140 million newborn babies each year, it is urgent to improve the quality of care and reduce disparities in access, thereby securing future economic and social development and supporting the vision of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s, and Adolescents’ Health.

Over three weeks the course will present a range of maternal health experts and evidence across disciplines including epidemiology, health systems, economics, advocacy, programming, obstetrics and midwifery. Using videos, articles, mini-lectures and discussions, the course will ask:

  • What is the state of the world’s maternal health and health care?;
  • What is quality maternal health care, including ‘too little, too late’ and ‘too much, too soon’?, and finally;
  • What is the future of maternal health?

Who is this course for?

This course is designed for those considering or undertaking postgraduate study in maternal health or a related topic such as public health, global health or medicine. It covers content from high-, middle- and low-income settings, and students and researchers from low- or middle-income countries, where the burden of poor maternal health is largest, are particularly welcome.

Main contributors

  • The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
  • Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health
  • World Health Organization
  • The Global Financing Facility (GFF)
  • Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF)
  • The Partnership for Maternal, Neonatal, and Child Health (PMNCH)
  • Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
  • Stanford University
  • BC Women’s Hospital
  • University of Michigan Medical School
  • University of California San Francisco

The Lancet Maternal Health Series

The 2016 Lancet Maternal Health Series shines a light on the causes, trends, and prospects for maternal health in the current era of rapid demographic, epidemiological, and socioeconomic transition. It analyses experiences of the past 25 years, and exposes the growing threat to progress caused by poor quality care and inequity of access.

It 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.

Featured links

To access resources related to The Lancet Maternal Health Series, including the Executive Summary in English, French, and Spanish, visit 

To read The Lancet Maternal Health Series 2016 papers, visit