Maternal and Infant Health

May 19, 2023

In recent decades, the world has made significant progress reducing newborn and maternal deaths. However, babies and mothers are still dying in appalling numbers – mostly from preventable or treatable causes, such as infectious diseases and complications during pregnancy or childbirth. Uneven access to affordable, high-quality health care and services impedes many countries from improving maternal and newborn survival and reducing stillbirths.

According to UNICEF, “every day, some 6,500 babies die in the first month of life. In 2020, an estimated 2.4 million newborns died worldwide. Globally, every two minutes, a woman dies during pregnancy or childbirth. In 2020, there were an estimated 287,000 deaths worldwide. About 70 per cent of those maternal deaths were in sub-Saharan Africa”.

Since 2000, the OMI conducts an annual Maternal and Infant Health seminar. This year’s course addressed the most pressing controversies in neonatology and maternal fetal medicine. They include GI disorders and infant nutrition, respiratory management, the patent ductus arteriosus, simulation training, twin pregnancies, ethical decision making, postpartum hemorrhage, and care of the infant with chronic lung disease. 34 pediatricians, gynecologists and general practitioners from 25 countries gathered at Schloss Arenberg to learn from world-renowned experts.

Dr. Richard A. Polin, Professor of Pediatrics at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Director, Division of Neonatology, NY Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, served as the course director, marking his 26th time travelling to Salzburg to teach at the OMI. The US faculty consisted of Dr. Martin Keszler (Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island), Dr. Russel S. Miller (Columbia University), Dr. Josef Neu (University of Florida College of Medicine), and Dr. Jean-Ju Sheen (Columbia University). Dr. Andreas Flemmer from the LMU Medical Centre, Munich, Germany, joined the OMI team for the first time. Dr. Friedrich Reiterer from the Medical University of Graz, Austria completed this week’s faculty.

  • 34 fellows
  • 25 countries
  • 20th course in Maternal and Infant Health

Richard A. Polin, MD

Richard A. Polin, MD

OMI Course Director

This is my 26th year attending the Salzburg seminars. I return each year with friends and colleagues so that they can share the unique experience of interacting with energetic and interesting fellows from a diverse spectrum of countries who are anxious to learn and improve care in their home countries. They are so appreciative of the knowledge we bring to them. Salzburg is a beautiful city, but the friendships I’ve developed over many years and  the sincere thanks from the fellows are the reasons I keep coming back.