Press Release

UNFPA launches “2 Hours to Life” with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, supporting life-saving maternal health services in Benin, Togo and Cote d’Ivoire

16 May 2022

New York, 16 May 2022 / Tokyo, 17 May 2022 – UNFPA, the UN sexual and reproductive health agency, is partnering with Takeda on 2 Hours to Life, a project that stands to save the lives of approximately one million pregnant women and newborns in three regions in Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, and Togo by ensuring access in under 2 hours to life-saving maternal and newborn services for 90% of pregnant women. In support of the project, UNFPA and Takeda have signed a five-year partnership and Takeda has donated approximately $9 million USD.

Every day, over 800 women die globally from obstetric complications during pregnancy, childbirth, and immediately after birth. This is about one woman every two minutes. The majority of these deaths are in sub-Saharan Africa, where it can be difficult to access timely, quality emergency obstetric and newborn care. This project aims to address that challenge in Benin, Togo, and Cote d’Ivoire by supporting a regional network of 33 maternity centres that provide quality care to expectant mothers and newborns. Through the regional network, women and girls in the region will not have to travel longer than 2 hours to reach a centre that is equipped to deal with obstetric or neonatal complications such as fistula.

The 2 Hours to Life project also supports innovative solutions to help provide quality emergency obstetric and newborn care in remote locations, including telemedicine, drones for last-mile service delivery, and advanced mobile and GPS technologies. These solutions will address existing social, transportation, and financial barriers that are currently hindering obstetric and newborn care services.

Making motherhood safer is a human rights imperative, and it is at the core of UNFPA’s mandate. With the support of Takeda, the 2 Hours to Life project will help UNFPA achieve that goal by strengthening health systems across the region.

UNFPA media contact in New York:
Eddie Wright:; +1 917 831 207

About UNFPA:
UNFPA is the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency. UNFPA's mission is to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled. UNFPA calls for the realization of reproductive rights for all and supports access to a wide range of sexual and reproductive health services, including voluntary family planning, quality maternal health care and comprehensive sexuality education.

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