Dr. Lode Dewulf is a physician with a passion for patient perspectives and understanding. When he studied and practiced medicine in Belgium and South Africa, he quickly realized that good education about health and disease was at least as important as good medicines to help patients achieve the best outcomes. To have a broader impact he then joined the pharmaceutical industry in 1989, and worked to provide good education around certain diseases and new treatment options. Ten years later, when the internet opened new possibilities to provide quality medical information, he took a one-year sabbatical leave to co-found PlanetMedica, the first Healthcare internet portal in Europe. He now has almost 25 years of pharmaceutical medical experience around the world.
Safe Motherhood asks our noted luminary Dr. Lode De Wulf, to explain what he thinks needs to be done to help achieve universal access to maternal healthcare.
- Baby steps lead to big changes! What is the #onething you think should happen this year in a bid to achieve universal access to maternal care for all women?
We need transparency, using digital technology, so that we have data to create awareness and advocacy. I want to see a world map, where I can check continents, countries and even regions within countries, and see a number representing the number of women that has access to maternal health care and the number that have no access to maternal care.We then also need to know the trend – is it improving, stable or worsening?
- What is the #onething you think has happened in the past year that makes you hopeful for women’s and maternal rights?
The EU finally stepped up to the plate and united, with donors (including anonymous donors), to create a budget for family planning and reproductive programmes after Trump slashed US support. I feel this is a statement on many levels.
- What #onething would you say to someone who asks why we need to fight for maternal rights in 2017?
How we come into this world defines who we are. We cannot achieve a better world until we all enter it in the best way possible.