Why on earth would anyone want to solve a Rubik’s Cube upon scaling Mt. Everest? Just ask Charlie Wittmack.
Wittmack, an American adventurer, lawyer and creator of the World Tri — a 10,000 mile journey across the globe — wants to bring attention to the plight of women and children in Nepal and the dire need to train more health workers to save mothers’ and children’s lives around the world.
An ever-looming global shortage of healthcare workers is leaving hundreds of millions of people at risk of needless suffering, disability and death. Eight million children — 37,000 of them in Nepal — die every year of largely preventable causes. “I’m joining the race to save mothers’ and children’s lives, because I believe no woman should die in childbirth and no child should die just because of where they were born,” Wittmack said.
“Nepal has given me some of the most thrilling experiences of my life, so I’m focusing my fundraising efforts there. I really want to be part of making sure all mothers and children are in reach of a trained health worker.”
Take a look at Wittmack as he solves the Rubik’s Cube after scaling the 29,035 foot peak. Wittmack began his odyssey last summer as he swam 250 miles down the Thames River and across the English Channel to France, and then biked and ran across Europe and Asia before reaching Nepal and the base of Everest.
The World Health Organization recently estimated a shortfall of 3.5 million health workers.
“World leaders must decide that the health and survival of many millions is worth their attention,” said Mary Beth Powers, who leads Save the Children’s newborn and child survival campaign. “Right now, millions of young children die every year from diseases like pneumonia and diarrhea simply because they don’t receive the most basic care from a trained health worker. As a mother myself, the thought of being without health care for my children is unimaginable.”
And, as Powers pointed out, “In most cases this care need not come from a doctor. Training a million additional community health workers and midwives, and adding new skills and better support to those already in place in developing countries would dramatically decrease deaths to mothers and children,” she added. “It’s a great return on investment — for as little as $300, a local community member can be trained as a health worker to deliver simple lifesaving solutions to children in need.”
video screenshot courtesy of Save the Children