Six million women and children could be saved by 2017, if they had access to simple, essential and affordable medicines, medical devices and health supplies. The UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women’s and Children’s Health formed in 2012 challenged the global community to increase access to and appropriate use of thirteen life-saving commodities that effectively address the leading preventable causes of death during pregnancy, childbirth, and childhood. 

Two years on, the Commission’s recommendations have translated into specific measures to support countries in their efforts to make these essential commodities more widely available to those who need them most, and to address global and regional RMNCH challenges. The follow-up to the Commission’s recommendations is undertaken under the UN Secretary General’s Every Woman Every Child banner where together with other RMNCH initiatives, it contributes to deepening progress towards Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5.


life-saving commodities



6 Million

women and children could be saved

More quality product, better used

Increasing availability

There is a market for quality, essential medicines and health products.

Expanding access

Affordable, quality commodities should be procured, distributed and stocked in health clinics.

Improving utilization

The best medicines and health products will only be adopted if providers and end users know about them, when and how best to use them.