Each year, half a million women die in pregnancy or childbirth; 99% of these deaths occur in developing nations (UNFPA). Developed countries such as the USA are not without maternal death problems. It is most certainly a global health issue!
Two events happened on September 20, 2010 at 9:00am in New York City. The United Nations Summit on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) kicked off and Amnesty International (AI) launched a Maternal Death Clock. The MDG is a blueprint for the fight against global poverty through 2015. The Maternal Death Clock has been ticking and counting the total number of maternal deaths since the start of the summit.
The Summit launched The Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health. With a pledge of over $40 billion, the strategy has the potential to save the lives of 16 million women and children. It is an ambitious goal, and the tools/resources to actualize this goal are available. The etiology of these deaths are known, and in most cases, these deaths are preventable.
Knowing that the problem exists, we can help! If you have the money, give money; if you have the time, volunteer or write a letter to lawmakers; if you have a friend, spread the word about the issue. The more people aware of an issue means the more people available to help with the solution.