For many women around the world, childbirth can put life of both mother and baby at risk.
The United States, along with 191 other countries, pledged to meet the Millennium Development Goals, targeting a 75 percent decrease in maternal mortality by 2015. The Global Maternal and Newborn Health Outcomes while Maximizing Successes Act (Global MOMS Act) will expand access to quality maternal health services and greatly reduce maternal mortality. It calls for the development of a strategy to coordinate existing women’s health efforts.
No woman should have to put her life or health at risk during pregnancy or childbirth. Please urge your members of Congress to support the Global MOMS Act.
The Global MOMS Act was introduced by Congresswoman Lois Capps of the 23rd District of California. At a press conference, Congresswoman Capps said,
“Safe motherhood should be a basic right for all women. We have a moral obligation to make the right investments and ensure that all women, no matter where they live, have access to basic, life-saving care. The Global MOMS Act would create a comprehensive strategy that better coordinates our efforts on the ground in the countries where women need our help most. In the same way that the President’s Emergency Plan For Aids Relief aligned existing efforts to better coordinate HIV/AIDS prevention efforts already underway, my bill would coordinate existing efforts to combat maternal mortality.”
From Save the Children’s report on the State of the World’s Mothers 2010:
“Every year, 50 million women in the developing world give birth with no professional help and 8.8 million children and newborns die from easily preventable or treatable causes. An alarming number of countries cannot provide the most basic health care that would save mothers’ and children’s lives. Developing countries have too few health care workers to take on the life or death challenges facing mothers, their babies and young children.”
“Worldwide, there are 57 countries with critical health workforce shortages, meaning that they have fewer than 23 doctors, nurses and midwives per 10,000 people. Thirty-six of these countries are in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition to insufficient numbers, health workers are often poorly distributed, with the impoverished, hard-to-reach and marginalized families being most poorly served.”
In some countries, social or cultural stigmas stand between women and their doctors. The report keyed in on female health workers as having a critical role in saving the lives of women and newborns.Toward that goal, investing in training and deploying female health workers is crucial.
The 2010 Mothers’ Index Rankings placed the U.S. at 28th on the list. Earlier this month, Care2 writer Robin Marty weighed in on the state of maternal health in the U.S.
Janet Museveni, First Lady of Uganda, says that men can be of great assistance in controlling maternal mortality rates in Uganda by being fathers to their children as early as conception — or even before — by planning for their children. The same would be true of men around the world.
You can help by asking your members of Congress to support the Global MOMS Act and to invest in the future of all humankind. Please sign the petition HERE. If you’ve already signed it, thank you. Please consider emailing the information to your friends.
Related Reading on Care2
To see the full 2010 Mothers’ Index Rankings by Country, click HERE.
Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to Julien Harneis