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Every two minutes, a woman or girl dies of pregnancy and child-birth related complications — 287, 000 per year — more than 780 deaths every day. While there is progress in some regions, this ongoing global tragedy continues ‘the greatest health divide in the world.' (United Nations)
The first step to solve this problem is strategic action to mobilize public opinion. An effective campaign of public advocacy — using easy Internet tools — can build informed concern. This can then become sustained support for concerted action. Without such public awareness and commitment, the prevailing conditions will remain—endlessly continuing the needless deaths of women and girls in pregnancy—never to be resolved!
NIGH is developing this Daring Caring Sharing — Maternal Health Awareness Campaign — to join with you and many others — in building an easy online global communications strategy. This to increase public concern and commitment for solving these problems—making this world of difference by ending needless death.
Please share this with your friends and ‘bookmark’ this website for upcoming ‘news’, features and to join in our strategies. Meanwhile, continue here to learn more about this widely misunderstood global tragedy.
When mothers die, orphaned young children—are further at risk. These deaths cascade into downward spirals—impacting entire communities. With the death of even one woman, remote villages suffer decreased food supply, poorer economic status, losses of clean water and basic sanitation. When mothers die, their children are less likely to become literate, confident and caring adults. In some regions, impoverished orphans become child soldiers or terrorists, deprived early of human love. The loss of a mother—as a vital, positive role model—soon becomes a tragedy and a direct risk affecting everyone across the world.
Yet, this global challenge remains under-reported, undervalued and, in reality, widely misunderstood. Amidst today’s prevalent information overload, global ‘news’ primarily focuses on conflicts, earthquakes and climate crises. When our soldiers died from the impact of landmines in Afghanistan, the world media reported so that everyone knew. But, when pregnant mothers suffer and die—from preventable complications— one every 90 seconds, every day, 365 days every year, such deaths are seldom reported! The resulting lack of citizen awareness is undercutting public concern and commitment towards this vital global issue. Public ignorance is a problem in itself. The universal scope of these issues seems beyond what any one individual can consider accepting as a challenge. It requires teamwork and focused action.
Even as these mothers are so media-marginalized that their repeated suffering continues unnoticed, nurses, midwives and related community health workers are themselves struggling to meet the needs of these same women and children. They also are marginalized and undervalued. The critical global nursing shortage is itself one of the key factors in maternal death. This too is chronically under-reported. Today, more than 30 percent of the world’s women still give birth without a skilled birthing attendant. A mother birthing alone and hemorrhaging will likely die. Her baby may well die too. A major global investment is essential to train, equip and sustain the required millions of additional nurses, midwives and community health workers—needed particularly in the world’s most marginalized rural areas where hospital obstetrical care is limited or non-existent.
If we work together as a global community—we can make this world of difference. More mothers will remain alive to care for their families, to prepare food, educate their children, protect, clean and clothe them—enabling humanity’s most vulnerable people to have appropriate care at the right time and to become healthy, positive, contributing citizens of our global society.
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GRAPHICS & PHOTO CREDITS
United Nations Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Logo # 5 — Increase Maternal Health — was created by the UNDP for worldwide circulation, in the Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons Sources: Blonde child's face, photographer Alex Buiter, 2008; Central African Republic girl's face, 2007, by photographer Pierre Holtz & webpage graphic adapted from a grafitti rendition of a pregnant woman on a wall in Lebanon, 2005, by photographer: Petteri Sulonen, from Helsinki, Finland. Both used here with the Creative Commons Share & Share-Alike 2.0 Generic license. Indonesian girl's face, 2005, by US Navy Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Elizabeth Edwards, released to Public Domain.